Ohio residents who are in the process of preparing their wills often fail to consider a few commonly overlooked areas. One of these is appointing a secondary beneficiary in case the first one named dies or is incapacitated in some way. Testators should make provisions if the primary beneficiary is too young or is unable to manage the estate for some other reason.

People also often fail to account for pets and digital accounts. They can name a primary and secondary caregiver for pets and can also set aside money to pay for the pet’s care. They should leave information regarding passwords and other information on digital accounts including social media in their will.

As is the case with pets and online accounts, some personal property owned by a testator may not have great monetary value but may cause disputes because of sentimental attachments. Personal items with both monetary and sentimental value potentially create even more conflict, but testators can name these items and their heirs in the will to reduce the chances of this type of conflict.

People who have children or are responsible for other individuals such as incapacitated adults should name a trustee and a guardian. The trustee and the guardian might be the same person or two different people.

People considering the preparation of their first will may wish to consult an attorney who has experience in estate planning matters. Legal counsel can help to ensure that the resulting will is valid, and counsel can also suggest other documents, such as financial and health care powers of attorney, that can be an appropriate part of a comprehensive estate plan.

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