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Wills and estate plans: Mistakes to avoid

Planning for death can be a beneficial part to life. However, no person wants to plan for his or her demise. It can be a depressing and uninspiring thing to talk about, but what is planned during life can prevent hardships and difficulties after death. Wills and trusts are common ways to secure assets in California, but a comprehensive plan is about much more than a few documents.

A successful estate plan should contain lists of all assets and how to access those assets. It is important that beneficiaries be left with instructions on how to access things like mutual funds, brokerage and bank accounts. These days, many accounts are accessed digitally. To ensure that family members and other beneficiaries can access these accounts, usernames and passwords should be documented.

Regarding beneficiaries, a primary part of an estate plan is to make sure that beneficiaries are designated and correct. Far too often, people do not realize that beneficiaries must be named on things like insurance policies and retirement accounts. Neglecting to do this means that assets could end up in the lengthy and expensive probate process.

For those who have a plan in place, it is always recommended to revisit and update those plans periodically. If wills and other documents are not updated after life events such as divorces, assets may go to unintended places upon death. Most importantly, families in California who have questions regarding wills or any part of the estate planning process may want to consider consulting a legal representative. An experienced attorney could provide answers and much-needed guidance to families who want to ensure the protection of assets.

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The Law Office of Araceli Tovar, APC

251 Madrona St.
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Phone: 619-869-4200
Fax: 619-869-4202
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