How big of a legacy can I leave?
What you're worried about: You want to leave a sufficient estate to your kids.
What you should be concerned about instead: Name the correct beneficiaries on your retirement and life insurance accounts.
Beneficiary designations are often wrong, Bourke says. "I had a new client who owns an annuity. I asked her who the beneficiary is and she said, 'My four children, one quarter each.' I said, 'Let's call the annuity company to be sure.' It turns out three-fourths were going to one daughter and the other quarter was going to a niece."
How does this happen? "The paperwork gets filled out wrong," Bourke says. "Somebody drops the ball. People ignore their beneficiaries and disinherit their own children."