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Points to remember in an estate plan

There are several aspects of an estate plan that Ohio residents may overlook. For example, in addition to a primary beneficiary, testators should name alternate beneficiaries. This is not just in case of the death of the primary beneficiary but also in the event that the beneficiary is a minor or is unable to manage their assets.

People often forget about digital assets when they are creating an estate plan. Digital assets may include online accounts and domain names. People might also want to include information for digital assets with no monetary value such as passwords for social media accounts.

An estate plan can address who will receive sentimental items. Some of them may be almost worthless, but they can mean a great deal to family and can be the source of conflict. It is best to talk to family members about what items they would like to receive after a person's death since it is not always obvious what may be meaningful to an individual.

People may also want to name a legal guardian for their children or for themselves in the event they become incapacitated. Finally, while it is not possible to leave property for pets, individuals can name a caretaker for them as well.

Some individuals may delay creating an estate plan because they feel they do not have enough assets or the idea may seem overwhelming. However, estate plans can be important for people at any age or asset level. Estate plans should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they remain up to date. Changes in assets or in the family, including births, deaths, divorces and marriages, could mean an estate plan needs to be changed. Testators should talk to loved ones about their proposed estate plan so their wishes are better understood. This may reduce the likelihood of family conflict.

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