Overlooked assets in estate planning

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Estate Planning

In tallying your estate along with its assets, you make sure to do a thorough inventory. You want to be precise in knowing what you have and in determining what your beneficiaries will get. However, some people, including you, may not be as thorough as they think.

Some assets are just plain overlooked. This list may include family pets and digital assets. Others may leave you troubled and wondering how to sweep them under the rug. An example of the latter: loans provided to family members. Is forgiving those loans an option?

Loans, pets and digital assets

Sometimes, assumptions surface regarding certain assets, but a final answer never gets recorded. Whether these assets are of sentimental or significant value, you need to address every one of them.

Here are some of the assets that occasionally get overlooked in estate planning:

  • Loans made to family members: You could afford it, and you had a generous streak. That is why you provided large, interest-free loans to your adult children who may have faced life challenges. The list may include loans for mortgages, medical debt, credit card debt, car repairs and start-up business ventures. Do you forgive the loans or subtract the loan amount from their inheritance? Do not ignore this.
  • The family pets: This list may include dogs, cats, horses, snakes, parrots and animals with special needs. All along, they have been considered part of the family, so now you must determine who will take care of them after you die. Your will should include specific instructions and set aside money for care of the pets and medical costs.
  • Digital assets: Online bank accounts, social medial accounts, cryptocurrencies and photographs are digital assets. The technological landscape really has changed in the last 25 years. You want to make sure to name someone who will manage them after you die.
  • Shipping-related costs: Your beneficiaries may have inherited large physical assets. How do they transport this furniture, fine art or even book collections thousands of miles away? Make sure to set aside money to help pay for such costs.

You want to make the final decisions regarding your estate. Please make sure to address every asset and determine where they will go.