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Elder Law and Estate Planning Blog - Lancaster, PA

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Might Be Missing from your Will

Have you ever thought what will happen to your pet when you pass away?  Oprah has, and she set aside $30 million for her five dogs.  Not considering the dollar amounts, leaving money to ensure that Fido is taken care of in case of a tragedy is smart estate planning, and it could save him from being abandoned or sent to a shelter.  Although pets cannot be beneficiaries in a will, you can name a caretaker and set aside money for their care.

Pets aren’t the only ones being left out of estate planning.  Most people did not include their aging parents in their wills, even if that person is already providing care for them.  The probability of your parents, an older relative or an elderly friend outliving you might be small, but the consequences for not planning for their care should they outlive you can be huge.  Discuss the issue of parent care with siblings and parents before including it in your estate plan, but don’t forget about your parents completely.  Should they outlive you, they will need someone to take care of them and look out for their well-being.

Finally, most young people have multi-media libraries that are sizeable assets in their estate.  But have you thought to include them in your estate plan?  If you’re not around, who is going to get what and how will your loved ones know that?  These assets include social media accounts, photos, videos, music, even loyalty points.  Distributing and safeguarding these assets will help keep you loved ones from scrambling to close out accounts and accessing photos and music.  Password sharing is discouraged, so how to manage these accounts posthumously can be tricky, but recording your preference in your estate plan can’t hurt.





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