Within the family, caring for elderly relatives comes naturally. The love and care many adult…
Occasionally, there are certain provisions that people often forget to include in their will or estate plan that could end up having a big impact on their loved ones. Whether you have completed your estate plan or not, do not forget to include these four provisions:
1. Naming Alternate Beneficiaries
In the case that your named beneficiary is unable to claim under the will or does not outlive you, you will want to include at least one alternative beneficiary. If a will names someone who is unable to take possession of the property, your assets may pass as if you did not have a will at all. That means state law would determine who gets your property, regardless of your wishes. By naming an alternative beneficiary, you can ensure that your assets will pass according to your wishes.
2. Family Heirlooms and Personal Possessions
A family heirloom does not have to be worth a lot of money to hold a lot of sentimental value. For this reason, you may want to designate which family members are to receive which items. If you so choose, you can write a list directly into your will. However, this makes it difficult to make changes. A personal property memorandum is a separate document that can be used to outline which family members and friends get what.
With the prevalence in the creation of pet trusts, it is no secret that pets become important members of the family. In our lifetime, we do all that we can to care for them, however, in our absence, they cannot take care of themselves. While you cannot leave property directly to your pet, you can name a caretaker in your will and leave money to that person to care for the pet. Additionally, if you choose to create a pet trust, the trustee would make payments on a regular basis to your pet’s caregiver and as needs arise, additional funds would be given.
4. Digital Assets
We are in the age of the internet. More and more business is conducted online. What happens to these online assets and profiles after you die? To make it easier for your family to deal with your digital property, you should make a list of all your online accounts with usernames and passwords. You should also include access information for your digital devices such as your smartphone and computer. Then you will need to make sure your agent under your durable power of attorney and the personal representative named in your will have authority to deal with your online accounts. For a digital will template, click here.
To ensure your estate plan includes all of your needs, contact an experienced estate planning attorney.