Having a comprehensive Will in place can protect your loved ones once you are gone. Most people will put off making a Will until they have children, launch a business, buy a first home or other life changing event. However, you do not need these life events to happen before getting a Will. Whenever you decide to make a Will, be sure not to overlook these five things.
1. Alternate Beneficiaries and Personal Representatives
While all Wills have at least one primary beneficiary, it is a common mistake to not include alternate beneficiaries, in case a primary beneficiary passes away before you. You should also have an alternate estate Personal Representative (or Executor), who is responsible for administering the probate of your Will. If the Personal Representative is unable to be confirmed by the court, it can be difficult (and costly) to find an alternative.
2. A List of Digital Assets
Since we’re living in the digital age, it makes sense to include all of your digital assets. However, according to Forbes, people often forget to include digital assets in their will. Digital assets include things like websites, online businesses, financial accounts, income streams, and more. (When considering digital assets, be sure to leave your Personal Representative important information like the names of the social media accounts, usernames, and passwords.)
3. Instructions for Personal Belongings
People often focus large items such as houses, cars and retirement accounts when creating a will, but there are other important items to protect. Your family may have items that have personal value and meaning that should also be included. List those important items in your will, such as books, old pictures, inherited jewelry, and household belongings will make sure that they go to the right people.
4. Provisions for Older Adults
If you’re someone who cares for an older adult, you may wish to provide provisions for them in your estate planning documents. If you provide financial support or anticipate doing so in the future, consider allocating some funds for them in your Will, or setting up a Trust for them.
5. Provisions for Pets
We all love our furry companions! They are an important part of any family, and you want to ensure that they are cared for if you are unable to care for them yourself. Include your pets in your will. Find someone in advance who will care for them in the event of your death or if you become incapacitated. Also, be sure to allocate some funds for the caregiver to buy things like food, veterinary care, and potential boarding expenses.
Want Help Creating a Comprehensive Will?
D. Kathleen Rus is here to help you create the comprehensive will you and your family needs. With over 30 years of experience as a lawyer, she’s helped hundreds of people protect themselves, their loved ones, and their businesses. Contact us now to get started.