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Pro tips for will creation: Advice you don't commonly hear

Estate planning lawyers give the same advice to their clients over and over again, and when you search for will planning advice on the internet, you find a lot of repetitive information. That's largely because this information is so important, but what about the less-than-commonly-heard advice? A recent article published on Oprah's website, written by Suze Orman, offers something unique in this regard.

Here are some of the pro estate planning tips that Suze Orman revealed:

Be careful not to leave assets to children under the age of 18: A lot of Tennessee estate planners never get around to creating their estate plan until they become parents. However, if you're children are under the age of 18, it's going to be very difficult for him or her to benefit from the money. Banks will not want to release assets to a minor. Furthermore, the new legal guardian will have a hard time accessing the money to pay for your child's care. You can avoid this by creating a trust that will disburse vital assets to the guardian of your child -- strictly for your child's benefit.

Look at your beneficiary designations after a divorce: Every estate planning attorney knows that you need to update the beneficiary designations on your IRA, 401(k), insurance and other financial accounts. Updating your will following a divorce is not enough. If you listed your ex-spouse as the beneficiary of your financial assets, and you die, it doesn't matter what your will says, the beneficiary designation will trump the will, and your ex will have a legal right to inherit these assets.

If you're ready to plan your estate the right way -- so you avoid common mistakes and benefit from uncommon knowledge -- a Tennessee estate planning law firm may be able to help. An estate planning lawyer can review your family's situation to help you identify the most appropriate estate planning strategies.

Source:, "Suze Orman's Estate Planning Checklist," Suze Orman, accessed Sep. 21, 2017

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