Don’t Wait Until You Die: 15 Vital Things Most People Forget to Include in Their Will

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Don’t wait for an emergency to start writing your will. Many of us wait for a significant life event or health crisis to begin thinking about writing a will. Since no one starts early, things often get overlooked during the process.

Writing a proper will makes it easier for your loved ones after your demise since it reduces complications that can arise.

However, sometimes, what should be included and what should be left out needs to be clarified. Knowing what others forget can help you learn to solve this puzzle and avoid rookie mistakes.

1. Pets

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One of the common things to forget when jotting down your will is your pets and their care after you pass away. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, you can also set up a trust and write down your pets in your will to ensure that your trustee, the person responsible for the pet after you, can take care of them without struggling with financial burdens.

2. Wedding Rings

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Wedding rings hold a particular sentimental value, so leaving them out of your will is a grave mistake. People tend to forget it as it’s not a primary concern.

However, it can cause problems later. Especially if you have multiple kids, you should name the one you want your ring to go to so that they don’t all fight for it later down the line.

3. Digital Assets

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As the world continues to evolve, more and more digital assets like bitcoins and NFTs emerge. In such a situation, the beneficiary for these also needs to be included in your will to avoid problems in the future.

According to Will Maker, all digital assets that you own and that have a monetary or tangible value will be included in your estate when you die. You can control who it goes to through the will you write.

4. Replacement Beneficiaries

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If the named beneficiary passes away before you and you haven’t mentioned a substitute, it will create many problems later. According to Thorntons Solicitors, if the primary beneficiary passes away with you or at the same time as you, it can be an oversight that leads to legal problems. This is easy to forget when writing a will, but including it is imperative.

5. Overseas Assets

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Many people think they’ve covered all their bases until they realize they’ve left out overseas assets. Experts at Rosenblum Law state that an attorney with relevant jurisdiction is required since some countries don’t recognize the will written in the US while others might.

Additionally, the will might meet the US standards but might not include requirements for a foreign country, so professional help is recommended.

6. Charitable Provision

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If you want part or all of your wealth, you must mention it in your will. This is something many forget to think about. After you pass away, if your assets haven’t been explicitly listed to go to an NGO or a cause you wanted to donate to, it’s up to your beneficiaries to execute what you wanted. Instead of relying on them, write it down and save everyone else the trouble.

7. Executor

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According to Investopedia, an executor of an estate is an individual appointed to administer the last will of a deceased person. While thinking of who the wealth goes to is easy, thinking about who will execute everything is much more complicated, so many forget to mention it in their will.

Make sure you name someone you think would be willing to execute their responsibilities even when you’re no longer here.

8. Personal Possessions

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Unsurprisingly, people forget to include personal belongings in a will. While it is essential to include major assets with high monetary value, personal items feel insignificant.

However, it’s vital to understand that once you pass away, those items will have an emotional value for your heirs and beneficiaries, which can result in endless fighting over who gets what.

9. Funeral Arrangements

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Experts at Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors state that funeral responsibilities go to your named executor. While that decides who’s in charge of arrangements, it does not determine what exactly you wish your funeral to be like.

Some people simply don’t care, but those who do they can forget to mention it in their will. It may not be legally binding, but at least your wishes are clear.

10. Guardianship of Children

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You would think that this is something everyone remembers to include, but that’s not the case. Your will should consist of a guardian for your kids in case you pass away to avoid courtroom battles of custody.

According to Legal Zoom, while deciding on a guardian, consider their beliefs, keeping your kids together, special needs, financial conditions, etc.

11. Debts and Liabilities

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Asset listing is essential, but debt and liabilities are equally vital, which often get overlooked. Listing these down ensures they are considered when beneficiaries divide your assets. You must include these in your will to avoid unnecessary fights, and some will be left at a disadvantage as opposed to others.

12. Disinheritance Clauses

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According to the Kania Law Office, a disinheritance clause is a provision within a will that intentionally excludes individuals from receiving any inheritance from your estate. While most people write down whom they want their valuables to go, they fail to mention whom they don’t want to give anything after their demise.

If there’s someone in particular you do not want to give a portion of your wealth to, then it’s better to make that clear.

13. Air Miles

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A Telegraph article mentioned that your air miles points can go to waste if you don’t include them in your will. Undoubtedly, this isn’t something the average person thinks of while jotting down their will. However, if you’re thorough, you can even include these points as part of your assets, allowing your beneficiaries to reap the rewards after you pass away.

14. Loyalty Points

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While this might seem a bit over the top, some people rack up an insurmountable number of loyalty points that can be useful if they include them in their will. Most individuals don’t consider this important because it sounds made up, but if you have many loyalty points, you can and should pass them down to someone who’ll use them.

15. Social Media Accounts

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Social media accounts may not have a monetary value, but they certainly have an emotional one. With social media accounts becoming so much more common, it’s not out of this world to add them to your will to avoid future disputes.

This isn’t traditional, but it does come in handy when you’ve saved your beneficiaries a lot of time and energy by deciding it before you leave the world.

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