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Estate planning and what goes into it

Estate planning and what goes into it is probably the furthest thought from your mind right now. It could be that you imagine yours would only contain official-looking paper with the words “Last Will and Testament” printed across the top. While a will is generally part of an estate plan, there are many documents that can be included in a comprehensive plan.

It is easy to dismiss an estate plan as something for “old people” or the wealthy. Many individuals make those assumptions and never prepare the proper documents for their particular situtation. There is much more to an estate plan than merely distributing assets.

Here are just a few of the documents (other than a will) that might be a good fit for your estate plan.

Provision for digital assets

Most digital platforms, like iTunes and Facebook, state that digital assets saved on those platforms cannot be passed on after you die. Although you may not be able to pass them on, you should leave behind a document which contains websites, logins and passwords so your personal representative can close any existing accounts.

Even though digital assets stored in many cloud-based systems cannot be passed on, you can pass on digital assets that are stored on hard drives and other firmware.

Letter of intent

There are certain instructions, such as funeral arrangements, that are not necessarily part of your will. When you include a letter of intent in your estate planning file it provides a place to leave instructions that are important to you.

List of estate planning documents

“A place for everything and everything in its place,” may be your motto, but that does not mean that your estate planning documents will be easily found after you pass away. Putting together a list of documents and informing your personal representative where to find them will help the estate administration process go more smoothly.

If you are wondering about estate planning and what goes into it, or need to revise your existing documents because of important life changes, call VanNess & VanNess, P.A. today to discuss your comprehensive estate plan. 

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