Many individuals see the creation of a comprehensive estate plan as an arduous task – and they are glad when it’s over. It is not uncommon for people to rush through the process to get it over with. They often never go back to review or revise various elements after the fact. People must take care not to make logistical errors that could create an additional burden on their family.
Individuals often overlook common factors when drafting an estate plan, including:
- Digital assets: While physical property is generally first and foremost on everyone’s mind, online assets can be just as important. From cryptocurrencies and online consumer rewards to digital storefronts and vast entertainment collections, individuals need to list and distribute these online assets.
- Sentimental property: Many people write their will with the larger physical assets in mind. Who gets the car? Who gets the boat? Who inherits the family home? While these are important questions, there are likely other, more sentimental, items to consider. Your grandfather’s military medals, for example, or a paperweight from your first year in business likely mean a great deal to certain family members. It is wise to mention these items to prevent family in-fighting.
- Personal loans: It is common for money to change hands among friends or family members. When these become significant sums, however, it is wise to make mention of them in the estate plan. Even if the ultimate decision is to forgive any outstanding loans, this should be explicitly stated to prevent any confusion or disagreements.
- Shipping costs: It is likely that the heirs do not live in close proximity to the deceased. It is wise to account for shipping costs to transport large or heavy items over great distances. Transporting a vehicle, for example, or shipping a priceless book collection can be quite expensive. It is wise to write a provision in which the estate will cover these costs.
Not only can you revise your estate plan to include new provisions, but you can also change elements and introduce secondary beneficiaries. People should revise the estate plan with any significant life event and every new relationship. Keep these things in mind while drafting your estate plan to avoid trouble in the future.