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Married couples: Remember the small things in your will

When most people sit down to make a will, they think of the big items: the home, the bank account, the investment portfolios, the life insurance policies. They may be more prone to forget about the small things.

Big items are important and should certainly be considered. However, if you pass away before your spouse, provisions may already be in place to help with the transfer.

For instance, perhaps you own the family home together. When you pass away, the house then belongs solely to your spouse.

Maybe you have a life insurance policy. When you set it up, you got to pick a beneficiary. If you still want the money to go to that person, it's already going to do so. Your will doesn't have to direct it.

Of course, there are still many things to consider. If you and your spouse die at the same time -- in a car accident, for instance -- how will the home be passed on to your kids? If you don't want the life insurance policy to pay out instantly or if you want to control how the money is used, do you want to put it into a trust instead of just sending someone a lump sum?

Still, while working out the details, keep the small items in mind. Many of these -- a watch, a necklace, a desk from your office -- could have sentimental value to your children. These are often the items that cause fights, and it's important to remember them along with the big ticket items. Be sure you understand how they should factor into your estate planning.

Source: Women's Day, "6 Things You Need to Know About Making a Will," MP Dunleavey, accessed July 21, 2017

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