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Things People Forget in Their Estate Plan

An estate plan is a very personalized thing. Rarely are two individuals or family’s situations identical. Because of this, working with experienced local attorneys who know what questions to ask to help you include all the right elements for your estate is very important. As you begin planning for your initial meeting with an estate planning attorney, make sure to think about this list of things commonly left out of wills, trusts, and estate plans in general.

Inherited Personal Property

Just because you say out loud, in front of everyone each Christmas, “One day this silver set will be yours.” to one of your children, it may not end up where you intended. Unless you specifically document each of your family heirlooms and to whom you wish to bequeath it, your wishes may not be realized. When wills or estates are contested, it is often because more than one person claims they were promised a certain (usually valuable) item. You can avoid such matters by specifically stating to whom you wish to inherit any specific items, whether they be of monetary or sentimental value.

An Additional Beneficiary and Alternate Personal Representative

If you plan to bequeath your entire estate to one person, make sure to have a secondary beneficiary. Because we do not update our wills often, it is possible that the beneficiary you chose predeceases you or dies with you. If you fail to have an additional beneficiary, your estate distribution becomes more complex. The same goes for the personal representative who handles the distribution of your estate.

A Plan for Your Pets

If you have a pet, your estate plan should include where it will go. Talk with family and friends and find out who may wish to have your pet if you predecease it. Too many older pets die in shelters because they were surrendered when an owner passed without a plan.

Your Digital or Online Assets

More than ever before our lives are online. You should include what your wishes are for those accounts. Do you want your social media removed and deleted or left alone? If you have a website how do you want that handled? Some people profit through affiliate sales or other passive online income which should be addressed in a will.

Trust Wagstaff & Pitelis as Your Local Attorneys

As local attorneys who specialize in estate planning and family law, we ask a lot of questions. That helps ensure that you do not forget something in your will which is our goal. And, when you hire us to handle your estate plan, we can also include a power of attorney and advance directive. Of course, if you have a more complicated estate and we feel a trust is a better option, we will recommend that instead. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.