Is My Estate Plan Missing Key Parts?

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You could missing key parts of your estate planning.

You have met with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Your last will, advance directives, and powers of attorney have been signed.

Everything is set.

Right?

Maybe.

According to a recent Think Advisor article titled “7 Things Your Client’s Estate Plan Might Be Missing: Morningstar,” you actually may be missing key aspects of preparing for incapacity and death.

What are they?

Review your assets to ensure you are not missing key parts of your estate plan.
Missing key parts of your estate plan may leave your family vulnerable.

Financial Overview.

You may know what you own, but your executor and family may not.

If you handle the finances, your spouse will be helpless if you die first.

Make a list of large assets, investments, vehicles, and other valuables.

Review these with your loved ones before it is too late.

A Directory.

You should make a list of all of your accounts.

In this list, you should include website addresses, account numbers, and the names of the professionals who help you.

It would be wise to encrypt this document or place it in a fireproof safe.

Personal Property.

Although many people include some directions for distribution of personal property in the last will, you likely have not detailed everything.

You should list specific property you own with any real or sentimental value and then designate who you would like to inherit the items.

This may include certain pieces of jewelry, art, and furniture.

Plan for Pets.

Do you have pets?

They may outlive you.

You will want to arrange for someone to care for your pets if you die.

You should also leave funds to provide for your pets.

One option is a “pet trust” to provide directions for the use of any funds left for that purpose.

Digital Estate Plan.

You should have a plan for your devices.

These include computers, phones, hard drives, and game consoles.

You should list your passwords and logins for your digital accounts like social media, emails, photos, videos, and websites.

Keep this document secure and make sure those who need to be “in the know” know how to access it.

End of Life Plan.

Although your health care directives and living will allow you to provide instructions regarding your end-of-life care, you may want to provide supplemental information.

You can always talk with your agents, but it would be helpful to have it in writing.

Ethical Will.

A last will allows you to distribute assets through probate.

An ethical will allows you to share your values with those you love.

Take steps now so your estate plan is not missing key parts.

Reference: Think Advisor (July 22, 2020) “7 Things Your Client’s Estate Plan Might Be Missing: Morningstar”

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