Naming Alternate Beneficiaries
There is always the possibility that the beneficiary you name may not be able to take possession of your assets, or may die before you. As difficult as this is to consider, naming more than one backup beneficiary can ensure that your property will pass as you intend.
Planning for the possibility of losing your primary beneficiary will help to make sure your wishes are carried out and your family doesn't have additional difficulties with your estate.
Making Allowances for Pets
Your pets face an uncertain future without you. Whether a dog, a cat, or a stable of horses, many people forget to provide for their pets after they die. Make sure they'll be taken care of when you're gone with an estate plan for pets.
1. Name a relative or friend who would be able to take over your pet's care when you're gone. Then name at least one or two more alternates, in case the first beneficiary is unable to care for the animal(s). Make sure to name beneficiaries who will properly care for your animal.
2. Leave instructions for rehoming your pet if it becomes necessary so that the animal isn't taken to the “pound.”
3. Create a pet trust to leave money for the animal's care. With a properly designed Pet Trust, the trustee can provide regular payments to the caregiver to care for the pet and take care of the animal's needs.
Online Presence and Digital Assets
What happens to your Facebook account when you die? How about your email--will someone be able to open, review and answer your emails, and close your accounts? What about online access to your bank, brokerages and other financial accounts? You should include provisions for handling your online accounts.
One of the easiest solutions is to collect all of your accounts into one place with usernames and passwords, updated as needed. Include smartphones, tablets, computers and other digital devices. Make sure that your agent under your durable power of attorney as well as anyone handling your estate or trust is allowed access to your online accounts and other digital information.
Leaving Possessions to the Right Person
Maybe a niece has asked for a brooch, or your son wants a painting. Possessions can be one of the most hotly argued parts of your estate because of the sentimental value. The solution is a personal property memorandum, referenced in your will or trust that can easily be changed if you need. Once referenced in the will, it's legally binding and gives clear instructions to the disposition of your personal property.
Let an Estate Planning Lawyer in Wisconsin Help You
Part of your estate planning is covering small details as well as big ones. Contact Heritage Law Office to speak with a reputable estate planning attorney today. We strive to make your planning process as smooth as possible and handle your assets with the greatest care. Talk to us today at (414) 253-8500 to receive a free case evaluation.