An estate plan can help a family recover assets from a deceased relative without going through lengthy probate. There are common elements in every estate plan. However, there are some lesser-known elements that can be beneficial to include in an estate plan as well.
What to Include in Every Estate Plan
Every estate plan should include the following elements:
- Last will and testament
- Durable power of attorney for financial affairs
- Healthcare proxy
In addition to these essential elements, it’s in your best interest to include these three lesser-known items to ensure all of your assets are accounted for:
#1. Alternative Beneficiaries
It’s smart to include alternative beneficiaries in case one of your named beneficiaries does not survive to recover the assets or chooses to decline them. If you do not name alternative beneficiaries, your assets may be distributed according to your state’s intestate laws instead.
#2. Digital Assets
We live in a digital age. Much of our personal information is stored in the cloud or on devices. As such, you should include provisions for the handling of your digital assets in your estate plan. Make a list of all your online accounts, particularly if you own a business, and include the login information for each account. Appoint a durable power of attorney for your digital assets so you know one trusted, authorized party is handling these assets.
Pets require constant attention and care. If you want your pet to live with a loved one after you pass away, you must make provisions for this in your estate plan. Name a caretaker for your pet in your estate plan and allocate funds to care for the pet.
Estate planning is complicated, and it’s in your best interest to work with a qualified attorney to ensure your estate plan is well-executed and helps your family avoid probate. Our team is here to help you through this process as efficiently as possible.
Call Pearson Butler at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a consultation.