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Additional legal documents should support your will and trust

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Your estate plan is important for your own protection and the well-being of the people you love. You may have created your estate plan years ago when you first got married or had a child. If you are one of those adults who frequently updates their estate plan, you may feel confident that the testamentary documents you have accurately reflect your family circumstances and last wishes.

However, what you may not realize is that you also have to update secondary documents, or there could be a conflict that causes a probate problem.

What other paperwork may you need to adjust when you update your estate plan? 

Beneficiary designations for insurance

When you die, your life insurance policy can pay a lump-sum benefit to the beneficiary you named in your documents. You may have also referenced that insurance policy in your estate plan.

If you updated your estate plan to change who receives your life insurance proceeds, it is of the utmost importance that you also change the beneficiary designation paperwork for your life insurance policy. Otherwise, if they contradict one another, the policy documents will have more authority in probate court than the will or trust would.

Transfer-on-death designations and deeds

Did you arrange for an account to transfer directly to your child or the deed for your home to transfer to your spouse?

If you have changed what you would like to do with your account, then updating your instructions requires not just mentioning those assets in your estate plan, trust or will but also updating instructions with the company that manages the account. When it comes to real estate, you may need to execute a new deed if you want to change or remove a transfer designation.

Simply making changes to your estate plan won’t ensure that the courts uphold your wishes. You have the best protection when you update your will and trust documents and also update beneficiary designations, as well as transfer-on-death paperwork. Learning more about the rules that govern estate planning and probate proceedings can lead to an estate plan that you can trust to uphold your legacy wishes.


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