It’s never too early for Pennsylvania residents to begin planning their estate. However, whether you’re a novice at it or a pro, it’s important not to overlook certain parts of your plan.
Change your beneficiaries
Many people make the mistake of not changing or updating beneficiaries. situations like death, divorce, birth or estrangement require changes to your estate plan. If you have a new child or adopt a child, you should add them to your will and remember to name guardians for them when they are minors. Remove beneficiaries if any have passed away. If you get a divorce, you will likely want to remove your former spouse in any capacity.
Name alternate beneficiaries
In addition to changing your beneficiaries, you will also want to name alternate beneficiaries. If the individuals you have already named to inherit your assets and property suddenly pass away, you won’t have anyone to leave them to if you don’t have alternate beneficiaries.
Include your pets
Pets are beloved members of the family. As a result, it’s important to remember to add them to your estate planning documents. If you’re older or in poor health or even if you’re young and have a pet that can outlive you such as some types of parrot, you will want to name a person who would become your pet’s guardian. You should also outline the steps for your pet’s veterinary care in the event that you’re suddenly incapacitated and unable to care for them.
Consider forming a trust
Unfortunately, many people overlook trusts as part of their estate plan. However, a revocable living trust is one of the best options for holding assets and property that you want to leave to your heirs. It can help prevent those things from going through probate. You can make any changes you wish as you oversee the trust during your lifetime and can periodically add or remove assets as you see fit. Having a trust can also ensure that your beneficiaries get their inheritances sooner.
Don’t forget about these aspects of your estate plan. They can make things better and easier for your family in the future.