Having estate planning documents in place, such as a will, living will, and powers of attorney, helps to protect you and your loved ones when the unexpected occurs. A surprising number of people tend to put off this task until it is too late, however. Among those who do have a will, it is not uncommon for people to overlook important issues and assets. This could end up creating confusion and costly delays, impacting those you care about for years into the future. The following are five items to discuss with your family law attorney, so they can be included in your estate plan.
Include These Items When Creating Your Will
When a person passes in Milltown, their estate must be settled in Middlesex County Surrogate’s Court. If you do not have a will in place at the time of your death, it subjects your property and assets to complex laws and jeopardizes inheritance rights of your family and friends.
Even if you have a will, leaving important items out creates problems and costly delays. The following are five items people often forget to include:
- Alternate estate representatives and beneficiaries: When creating your will, you must list all beneficiaries of the property and assets you possess. You will also need to name someone as estate administrator, who will act as your personal representative in probate court. Provide alternates in the event they pass before you or are otherwise incapacitated. The same is true when creating powers of attorney.
- A list of digital assets: Despite the amount of personal and business activities that occur online, Forbes advises that people often forget digital assets in their wills. These include websites, online businesses, income streams, and financial accounts. Be sure to list these along with social media accounts, usernames, and passwords in your will.
- Instructions for personal belongings: People focus on items of financial value in creating a will, such as homes, cars, and financial accounts. However, other items can have personal value and meaning to loved ones and should also be addressed. List those that may be considered important to your family or friends, such as books, old photographs, inherited jewelry, or household belongings.
- Provisions for older adults: Many of us have older adults we provide care for. Be sure and mention them in your estate planning documents. If it is personal services, such as calling on them regularly or taking them to doctor appointments, you may request someone you know complete these tasks. If you provide financial support or anticipate doing so in the future, consider allocating these funds through your will.
- Provisions for pets: Pets are an important part of the family and you want to ensure they are provided for in the event you are unable to care for them yourself. Include them in your will and with your powers of attorney. Find someone in advance who will agree to take responsibility for them in the event of your death or if you become incapacitated. Make provisions so that this person will have the funds they need for food, veterinary care, and potential boarding costs.
Speak With Our Middlesex County Family Law Attorney
To ensure your will includes the above items and that other appropriate estate planning documents are in place, reach out to the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, Esq. To speak with our Milltown family law attorney, call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.