When you go to a professional estate planner, the emphasis is on the things you consider to be important. The process of distributing the income you have set aside for when you pass away is important, and so is the way in which your property is handled as well. One of the biggest misconceptions people have about estate planning is that the big picture takes care of the details, but this is not the case. With good estate planning, the details are very important.
Sloppy estate planning uses wording such as "I leave my belongings to . . . " which is a blanket statement that can ruin an estate. For example, what if your mother had left you a watch that belonged to your grandfather and he wore it throughout World War II. Your mother specifically asked you to make sure that your son got that watch when you passed away, but you never attended to that detail during your life and your will leaves all of your possessions to someone else.
Not attending to the details in your estate makes your estate planning incomplete. You can try to blame your estate planner, but they only know what you tell them. It is up to the client to have the details worked out and ready for the estate planner so that everything can be done properly the first time.
Estate planning is not a simple process that requires you to make an appointment, visit your estate planner once, and then be done with it. You need to take the entire process seriously and be prepared to go to that first appointment with the planner. If you do not draft an estate plan in that first visit, then there will be some very good reasons why.
Discuss your estate plans with the people who will be affected to make sure they understand your intentions. Instead of lumping all of your possessions under one blanket statement, you should do an inventory and determine where you would like each item to go when you have passed on.
When it comes to distributing your financial resources after you have passed away, you should be very specific. If you have charitable organizations you want to leave money to, then do not make arrangements with someone else to get that money to your organization of choice. Put all of that information in your estate plans and make sure everything is done properly.
Some states allow people to write their own wills, and there are even states that allow handwritten wills to stand up in probate. But if you want your estate created properly, then you should use a professional estate planner. Probate can be a long and frustrating process, but you can help your heirs out by making sure that your estate has been created by an expert who understands the challenges that face your will after you have passed away.
The primary goal of estate planning is to ensure that your possessions, financial resources, and other parts of your estate are handled properly after you have passed away. If you forget to take care of the details regarding your estate, then you have failed at utilizing good estate planning services to their maximum potential.