#22 of 25 Estate Planning Mistakes – Coordinate

Not Coordinating Financial Accounts with Legal Documents
When talking about estate planning, many people only consider legal documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney. However, estate plans consist of two separate, but related, components: legal documents and financial accounts. The distribution provisions in these components must be coordinated, meaning that both reflect the same goal for the management and distribution of assets. In many estates, the value of the financial accounts will be a substantial fraction of the estate’s value. Many of these accounts, like retirement accounts, annuities and life insurance, have beneficiary designations so they do not pass under either a will or trust. As a result, these beneficiary designations need to be coordinated with the asset distribution provisions of the will or trust, so that the overall asset distribution matches your intended goals.