Which assets are easy to forget to include in a will?
In South Carolina, one of the most important aspects of estate planning is making sure that your will includes all your assets. Unfortunately, many people forget to include valuable assets in their will, which can lead to problems with succession, including family disputes and legal complications.
Art and collectibles
Art and collectibles include items, such as paintings, sculptures, coins, stamps, and more. Many people forget to include these items in their will because they don’t think of them as valuable assets. If you have collections, make sure to list them specifically in your will so that there is no confusion about who should inherit them. That means, for instance, if you have a painting that is worth $20,000, you should list it in your will to either sell or for a specific individual, rather than just leaving it to your “heirs.”
One of the most common retirement accounts is a 401(k). This account is an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan that allows you to contribute a portion of your income, before taxes, into the account. The money in the account grows tax-deferred and can be withdrawn after you retire. Another common retirement account is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). IRAs are personal savings plans that offer tax advantages for retirement savings. Both types of accounts should be included in your will so that your beneficiaries know what to do with them.
Life Insurance Policies
Beneficiaries of your life insurance policy will receive the death benefit to cover expenses such as funeral costs, debts, and more. If you have a life insurance policy, make sure to list it in your will so that your beneficiaries know the amount and company to send the death certificates to.
Including all your assets in your will is important, but it’s also important to keep your will up to date. If you acquire new assets or get rid of old ones, make sure to update your will accordingly. Also, keep in mind that, if you have a retirement account with a named beneficiary, the beneficiary designation will take precedence over your will. So, if you want someone other than the named beneficiary to inherit the account, you’ll need to change the beneficiary designation on your accounts.