When it comes to estate planning, most people immediately think of wills and trusts. While these are fundamental elements, an estate plan can also include various other components that may not immediately come to mind.
Including these unexpected aspects in your plan can help ensure that your wishes and needs get fulfilled comprehensively.
In the digital age, your online presence forms a significant part of your life and legacy. Including digital assets like social media accounts, blogs and digital libraries can be important. You should also provide access details for your online bank accounts, shopping accounts and digital wallets.
If you have pets, your estate plan can provide for their care. You can set aside funds and name a trusted person to take care of them.
Including your funeral and final arrangement wishes in your estate plan can ease the burden on your loved ones and ensure your preferences get respected. You can detail the type of service you want, where you would like it and even what songs you want played.
Not all valuable assets are monetary. You can also include personal possessions like photo albums, family heirlooms and personal letters in your estate plan.
Care of a family member with special needs
If you are the primary caregiver of a family member with special needs, you can set up a Special Needs Trust. This ensures the continuation of care for your loved one without interfering with their eligibility for benefits like Medicaid.
Loan repayments and debts
If you have outstanding loans or debts, including them in your estate plan can prevent these burdens from falling on your loved ones.
If there are causes close to your heart, your estate plan can include provisions for charitable giving.
Your stories and values
One of the most personal things you can include in your estate plan is a letter of instruction. It could contain your personal stories, wisdom, values or hopes for your loved ones’ future.
Your estate plan can include more than just the division of your financial assets. By including these less obvious elements, you can leave a more comprehensive, thoughtful and personal legacy.