Items To Avoid Putting In Your Will
One of the smartest things you can do for your assets, estate, and your family is make a will. This ensures that you still take care of your family and loved ones even after you are gone and that your assets are divided up and someone will care for them. However, not everything should be put into a will. In some cases, it is possible to over-detail a will and place items in it that you do not have the authority to give out after you pass away. So, before starting on writing your will, first determine what is and is not yours to put in it. One of the best ways you can do this is by sitting down with a living will lawyer in Philadelphia, PA. Although you are not required to retain a lawyer when you write a will to make it legal, they can be a great asset when it comes to determining what is appropriate to place in your will and what you should leave out. For a quick checklist of items to leave out of your will, read below.
Your Funeral Specifications
Although you may have certain instructions regarding the flower arrangements, the music, or the people who speak at your funeral, in many instances a court will not even start settling your estate until after your funeral. This can become complicated when your funeral is one of the first things to happen after someone passes away. This means that your funeral wishes could go completely unnoticed. Instead, speak with your executor or your loved ones, and even write up a separate document outlining how you would like your funeral to proceed.
Certain Property Not To Include
While a will is a place for you to specify what you want to happen to your estate, there are certain types of property that have rules governing them completely independent of your will, as a living will lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can explain. These are:
Having Rules On Gifts
Leaving gifts to beneficiaries is a nice way of showing your loved ones how you cared for them. However, when you leave a loved one a gift with strict conditions—such as, they can only get this gift if they divorce their spouse or change religions—a court will not uphold those types of specifications.
Digital Assets in an Estate Plan
One of the most overlooked assets that people don’t consider when they are setting up an estate plan is the digital assets they own, as a living will lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can attest. Many people rely use online services to store important documents and other information instead of the old way of keeping hard copies in file cabinets. There are also multiple social media accounts and email accounts that people have. All of these items are considered digital assets and should be included in a person’s estate plan.
Some of the more common digital assets that should be included in an estate plan include:
There may be other items that are considered digital assets that a person has. A living will lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can help determine what those are may be. The laws surrounding technology and how these types of properties should be treated upon a person’s death is ever-evolving, so it is important to consult with a seasoned estate attorney who is well versed in current estate planning laws.
Some states have passed laws which address how these assets should be handled, including granting estate representatives the authority to access accounts, including email, social media, or other online and digital asset accounts of a person who has died. As more and more people choose to conduct their business online, such as paying bills, banking, etc., it can be difficult for the executors of their estates to perform their fiduciary duties if they cannot access any of the online information to do so. Part of what a living will lawyer in Philadelphia, PA may suggest you include in your estate plan is a list of all online accounts and passwords to be given to the person you choose as executor when you die.
On a more personal, not financial, level, it is also important for families and loved ones to be able to access family photos and videos that the decedent stored online, otherwise these precious mementos could be lost forever. Making sure that you have an estate plan in place which includes instructions for your digital assets can ensure that this won’t happen to your loved ones.
Avoid Will Confusion
Writing a will can become complicated, especially if you are not sure what is or isn’t appropriate to put in it. Therefore, it can be incredibly beneficial to have an living will lawyer in Philadelphia, PA by your side when you write your will to ensure you leave nothing out and that you do not put anything in that should not be there. For more information, call the a Philadelphia, PA living will lawyer at Klenk Law now.
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