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5 mistakes to avoid when you are creating your estate plan

Creating your estate plan is a necessary task, but it does take some thought. You have to make the choices that put your wishes first and that will take care of your family members when you aren't able to.

While it doesn't have to be difficult to get everything together, there are mistakes that you should be sure to avoid. Remember these so that your family members can rely on the plans you made.

  1. Not planning for digital assets. You probably have online accounts, such as those on social media and music websites. Don't forget to assign these to someone in your will. On some websites, you must fill out a designation form to alert the platform to who is going to take over for you if you pass away. Be sure to provide the designee with the username and password to each one. This can be done at the time of your death by leaving the location of the information in your letter of instruction.
  2. Not setting beneficiary designations. Some financial accounts have a payable on death designation that you need to fill out. The person you name here is the one who will get the account when you pass away. Savings, checking and investment accounts are some examples.
  3. Putting your funeral plans in your will. One of the most pressing decisions your family members have to make is about your final plans. You can outline your funeral and burial wishes in a letter to your family members so that they know what to do. Don't put this in the will because the will might not be read until long after your death.
  4. Failing to include end-of-life care. Think about what you want your final days to be like. You may need to set clear instructions about your medical care. This is done using the advanced directive, or living will. You can also fill out special "do not intubate" or "do not resuscitate" orders if you don't want either of those to happen to you. These need to be filed with any medical establishment you use.
  5. Waiting too long to set the plan. You have to be of sound body and mind to create your estate plan. If you wait too long, there is a chance that dementia or other conditions might mean that you don't meet these criteria for writing your will.

Making any mistakes during the creation of your will or estate plan could leave your loved ones in the middle of a contentious probate battle in Cocoa. This can waste time and money, so think carefully about what you are doing.

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