The Most Surprising Things You Might Not Think to Address in Your Will
As estate planning attorneys here in Florida, we find that the new year tends to bring a number of individuals and families into our office to ask about how they should best plan for their future needs. Below, we discuss three surprising issues that clients frequently question us about when it comes to estate planning and how to make sure that everything is accounted for in their will:
Taking Care of Your Pets When You Are Gone
We’ve previously discussed to what extent you can make provisions for your pets in your will, as well as how to do so (i.e. not via directly leaving assets to your pet but rather through designating someone else to care for the pet and providing funds for their care). The reality is that, by designating a guardian to take over the care and potentially the ownership as well of your pet, as well as a fund to cover any expenses, you will better be able to ensure that he or she is taken care of as you see fit.
Accounting for Unique Digital Assets
We’ve also discussed how you can ensure that you have properly accounted for any digital assets in your estate plan. This also involves designating what you might call a “digital executor” to manage your digital accounts after you pass. This individual can not only access the accounts, but manage them as well (if they are in need of a new strategy, for example, if you manage a blog which requires a domain).
Giving to Charities
How to provide for charities in an estate plan is another common question we receive. Know that, other than establishing a charitable trust, you have additional options; for example, you could direct a family member to make a donation as part of their inheritance, which could also end up conferring a tax benefit onto them.
Keeping Beneficiaries Updated
Also remember that for certain accounts, such as 401(k)s and life insurance, what you list in terms of your beneficiaries on your beneficiary forms supersedes anything listed in the will with reference to these accounts. This means that, if you get divorced and remarried, you should not only update your will, but these forms as well. In fact, it is a good idea to review everything every two years or so in order to make sure that everything is updated and in alignment with your current preferences.
Contact an Experienced Florida Estate Planning Attorney
Overall, one of the most important things to avoid when it comes to estate planning is procrastination. This usually results in one’s assets having to go through the probate process, which can be expensive, time-consuming, and result in anything but your wishes being followed.
For any and all estate planning questions and needs here in Florida, contact our experienced Orlando estate planning attorneys at the office of Gierach and Gierach, P.A. today for a free consultation and to find out more about our services and your options.