There are two types of asset organization mistakes that mess up estate plans.
What do you own?
How long would it take you to make a list of all of your assets, debts, income and the contact information for each of those? Would it take a while? If you passed away suddenly, would it take your children more or less time to get a list like that? Without easy access to that information, your loved ones will suffer more stress, delay, and expense trying to determine what you own. Some things, like life insurance, savings bonds, or stock certificates, are sometimes lost forever because the family is not aware of them.
Do the assets fit with your legal plan?
Suppose your family can easily get a list of your financial information. Will the information show that all of your assets are coordinated with the legal plans in your Will or Trust? Are your joint ownership, payable on death provisions, life insurance and IRA beneficiary designations all consistent with your goals? For instance, if you have created a trust so someone can manage assets for a minor child, did still name the child as a beneficiary of your life insurance? If so, your legal plans will have no effect on that money.
Check out your current asset organization by looking at our Personal Information Form. How easy would it be for your kids to fill this out if something happened to you? Do you know for sure that your assets are organized properly and all beneficiary designations are up to date?