While no one wants to consider their own mortality, the process of proper estate planning is one of the most selfless and thoughtful acts that a person can take part in. Whether you have amassed a large amount of personal wealth or simply own a home, a single vehicle and have a life insurance policy, it’s a good idea to have a written plan in place to ensure that heirs are taken care of in the event of a death or incapacitation. However, there are some items that are regularly left out of an estate plan.
A Master Directory
A master directory gives a detailed list of any accounts that the individual has. These accounts can include 401(k)s, life insurance accounts, bank accounts and any creditors that are owed. It’s also a good idea to provide the name and direct phone number for the person that the person doing the estate planning primarily deals with at the company that’s listed.
Personal Property Plans
Personal property includes more than a person’s home and the land that it sits on. Providing a written plan for personal property is a great thing to include when estate planning, as it can reduce the opportunity for disagreements to arise later on.
If there are things like sentimental items or valuable antiques that belong to an individual, they should provide a written order in their estate plan as to what to do with those items. Not only does this ensure that their wishes are fulfilled, it cuts down on the opportunity for the estate to spend years tied up in probate.
A Plan for Pets
While pets legally fall under the category of personal property, most pet owners don’t view their beloved pet as a piece of property. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an arrangement in place and in writing to provide care for any pets after the owner’s death.
It’s easy for a client to miss some of the most important steps when it comes to estate planning if they try to work through the entire process on their own. Working with an attorney can help the client make sure that everything is in order and their wishes can be fulfilled. An attorney may review all of their client’s assets, compile a list of heirs, and help the client work towards a full estate plan.