The article, which was written with physicians in mind but still applies for all types of estates, proposes two scenarios which can lead to beneficiaries not receiving what you intend them to. The first is for those estate plans that are made after attending a seminar that’s entire reason for existing is to sell their attendees the idea of working with them and not necessarily explaining all of the minutia. The other is through the hiring of an estate lawyer after certain life changes, specifically a new spouse. Both note that the discussion of beneficiaries is often left out, which can throw a wrench into the entire process.

For most families, there are children, spouses, and other family members to consider, and one wants to be equitable with regards to how an estate is divided – though not always. Even so, by ignoring the important ‘elephant in the room,’ an all-out fight can occur after you have gone, and your estate plan is set in motion. Who receives money from which accounts, who will inherit the house if not your spouse, and what type of issues can occur from a seminar that is only intent on selling you the fairy tale version of things? This article explores several points in an effort to offer an unbiased accounting of how to plan an estate out, including how to handle beneficiaries.

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