Estate planning is complex and time consuming.

So it’s not surprising that many people put it off. Also, clients are often unwilling to think about their deaths or the fact they might become incapacitated as they age (Check out the recent Toronto Star piece, called “Lessons from Life and Death”, on how we’re part of a death-denying culture).

Complete planning is an essential part of wealth management, however, and every one of your customers should start with a checklist of all assets they need to consider.

Read: An estate-planning checklist and What not to do in estate planning

This will protect their wealth and legacy, and will also help them avoid making critical mistakes. Financial Planning says these missteps can include:

Not planning for divorce

Place restrictions on both funds and assets like businesses to ensure they stay in the family.

Read: Divorce planning a modern must and Divorce in the digital age

Not including pets

Make arrangements for family pets and set up trusts that will cover all care costs.

Read: Why pets should be in your will

Forgetting about digital assets

Do you have any private passwords or online assets? Make sure a list of them will be available to family members upon your death.

Read: Estate pros must consider digital assets

See the full list of common mistakes.

Also read:

How to address inadequate inheritance

Don’t take these shortcuts

When to use dual wills

Debt and taxes

The final word on offshore trusts

Start the donation discussion

Retirement horizons getting longer

A Jedi Master’s estate plan

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Originally published on Advisor.ca