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Updating wills can prevent flaws in estate administration

Life can get very busy, so it's understandable how important issues can unintentionally fall through the cracks. However, taking the time to create a will and estate plan can prove to be very worthwhile. Not only does it give piece of mind to the individual who created the will, but it also provides a sense of security to his or her loved ones. Although this is a critical step, it's worth noting that people shouldn't forget to update their estate plans on occasion.

One of the primary purposes of creating an estate plan is to distribute assets according to a person's wishes, rather than a court adhering to Nevada law. As such, it's crucial to make sure that a current will (and supporting documentation) actually aligns with the testator's desires.

As such, it may be helpful to review and update estate planning materials in the wake of major life events. For example, after being divorced, a person probably doesn't want his or her assets being given to the ex-spouse. The same idea can be applied to getting married, having a child or the death of a loved one.

While taking the time to update a will, it's also important to make sure documentation attached to assets included in the will are consistent. When opening a bank account or investment account, it's common to designate who the assets will go to in the event of death. If there is any inconsistency between payable- or transfer-on death forms and a will, the assets are typically given to the person on the account documentations rather than the will.

The estate planning process begins with the good intention of trying to avoid division among loved ones in the days and months after death. As such, it makes sense that a person will want to maintain a consistent and accurate will.

Source: MarketWatch.com, "Don't make the No. 1 estate-planning goof," Harper Willis, Jan. 23, 2014

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