If you’re like most people in New York and throughout the country, there is a good chance that you haven’t given much thought to your estate plan. This is likely because you don’t want to think about dying or you feel that the process of creating a plan is too complex. However, it is important to note that estate planning is more about protecting your loved ones than it is about planning for your eventual death.
Be clear about who gets personal property
Adding a memorandum of tangible personal property to your will can make it easier to ensure that the right people inherit items that may have sentimental value to them. For instance, you could bequeath a set of earrings, a painting or a set of power tools to the individuals who would cherish them the most. In many cases, a the memorandum is legally binding if it is included in a will. If such a document is not included, items may be sold by the estate executor.
Don’t forget about your animal companions
You can dictate who will care for your pets after you pass on in your will. Alternatively, you can create and fund a trust dedicated to meeting an animal’s needs when you are no longer able to do so.
A digital estate plan can be helpful
A digital estate plan can determine who gets access to a smartphone, computer or other electronic devices that you owned at the time of your death. It can also determine who gets access to any information stored on an electronic device or cloud server. Finally, you can stipulate what should happen to a personal website or social media account after you pass.
An estate planning attorney may be able to help you create a will, trust or other plan documents. An attorney may also review existing documents or provide insight into how you can make your current plan stronger.