Four Provisions People Forget to Include in their Estate Plan
There are certain provisions people frequently forget to put in a will or estate plan that can have a big impact on their heirs.
Alternate Beneficiaries: An estate plan should include at least one alternate beneficiary in case the named beneficiary does not outlive you. If a will names a beneficiary who is not able to take possession of the property, your assets may pass as though you did not have a will or trust at all.
Personal Possessions and Family Heirlooms: You can refer to an attachment to your will or trust stating your representative is to look for a list of how items of personal property are to be distributed. If nothing is found, then the property will be distributed the same as the remainder of your estate.
Digital Assets: We are all conducting more business online, but there are some steps you can take to help your family deal with your digital property. Make a list of all your online accounts, including e-mail, financial accounts, Facebook and anywhere else you do business online. Include your username and password for each account. Finally, make sure the agent under your durable power of attorney and the personal representative/trustee named in your documents has the authority to deal with your online accounts.
Pets: You can name a caretaker in your estate documents and leave that person money to care for your pet or establish a Pet Trust. Do not forget to name an alternate caretaker as well.
Ms. MacDonald’s practice is limited to Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration. Ms. MacDonald maintains her practice in the Santa Clarita Valley at 25115 Avenue Stanford, Suite A-209 in Valencia, California. She can be reached at 661-294-6464.
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