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What can complicate an estate plan?

Preparing a proper estate plan is perhaps the most important thing a person can do in their life and yet it's the one thing that most people avoid until the last minute. Why? As we have said before, drafting an estate plan makes you think about your inevitable death, which can be scary for a lot of people. By avoiding your estate plan, you avoid this potentially painful thought.

But for some people, putting off drafting their estate plan has less to do with a fear of death and more to do with their actual estate. As you can probably imagine, no two estates are the same. Some are simply more complex than others which can create problems for your loved ones. Today, we'd like to look at this fact by addressing this question: what can complicate an estate plan?

Beneficiaries. Having a very large family can easily complicate an estate plan because you now have more people who you may want to share your estate with when you die. On the other hand, having no family can be just as problematic because it can leave you wondering who you should leave your wealth to.

Business succession. The decision to transfer your company to a family member can be a difficult one to make, especially if you're unsure if they want the responsibility. Because of all the legal loose ends, talking to an attorney about this part of estate planning is a very good idea.

Property in other states. As we have said before, laws governing estate planning differ from state to state, which can create problems if a testator has property in other states besides where their reside.

Multiple types of assets. From real estate to personal property, bank accounts to 401Ks, the number of assets you hold can complicate an estate plan, especially if you fail to update the beneficiaries for them.

Marital status. Because both state and federal laws offer certain protections and benefits to married couples upon the death of a spouse, it's important for our readers to consider their own marital status and how their own estate will be affected by it upon their death.

While we were only able to touch on a few issues, we hope it got you thinking about your estate plan and the complications you might encounter, encouraging you to speak to an attorney sooner rather than later.

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