1. Alternate Beneficiaries
One of the most important things your estate plan should include is at least one alternative beneficiary in case the named beneficiary does not outlive you or is unable to claim under the will. If a will names a beneficiary who isn't able to take possession of the property, your assets may pass as though you didn't have a will at all. This means state law will determine who gets your property, not you. By providing an alternative beneficiary, you can make sure that the property goes where you want it to go.
2. Personal Possessions and Family Heirlooms
Not all heirlooms are worth a lot of money, but they may contain sentimental value. It is a good idea to be clear about which family members should get which items. You can write a list directly into your will, but this makes it difficult if you want to add items or delete items. A personal property memorandum is a separate document that details which friends and family members get what personal property. Read more in our earlier news item on Using a Separate Memorandum to your Will for Tangible Personal Property.
3. Digital Assets
More and more we conduct business online. What happens to these online assets and accounts after you die? There are some steps you can take to help your family deal with your digital property. You should make a list of all of your online accounts, including e-mail, financial accounts, Facebook, Mint, and anywhere else you conduct business online. And then you need to make sure the agent under your durable power of attorney and the personal representative named in your will have authority to deal with your online accounts.
Pets are beloved members of the family, but they can't take care of themselves after you are gone. Massachusetts allows for separate Pet Trusts that allow you to leave funds for the care of your pets.
Contact us to make sure your will and estate plan takes care of all your needs.