Most people own far more than they think. When you die, the person in charge of executing your estate will need to get a list together of everything you own. If they find things that you have not mentioned in your estate plan, it makes their job more challenging.
It can also cause delays to the distribution of your estate while a court decides what to do with the unaccounted for assets. Here are some of the things you might overlook:
Anything with a beneficiary designation
Things such as retirement accounts and insurance plans allow you to name a beneficiary. These designations override anything you write in your will, so make sure they are all up to date. This is particularly crucial if you have divorced, lost or gained children since you opened the accounts, as who you want to get them may have changed.
These might not have much financial value, but that does not mean they are not important. Many families have fallen out over things such as grandma’s jewelry, even when the diamonds were fake.
Sentimental value is often the biggest factor here. Knowing your great grandad carried that metal hip flask through two world wars can make it something your children are prepared to fight over.
Art and furniture
If you like collecting things, you may possess pieces that are now worth much more than when you bought them. If you are unsure of the current value of items, get them assessed so you can take account of their financial values when deciding how to divide your estate.
Creating an effective estate plan requires time, thought and a thorough understanding of the law. You can bring the first two to the table yourself, but it is best to get legal guidance for the rest.