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5 things you may have forgotten to include in estate plans

You know estate plans are vital, and you have put in the time and effort in making yours to protect your family and money. You may think you can relax now.

Before you breathe a sigh of relief, however, make sure you have not forgotten any of these important inclusions. Be sure to make regular updates, as well, as circumstances change.

1. Your pet

In the eyes of the law, your pet is property, not family. Create plans for what will happen to your pet if you die or become incapacitated. Do not assume that your loved ones will naturally take over the care of your furry friend. Find someone who is willing and able to be the new owner, and have a backup person in case the first becomes unavailable when the time comes. Set up a trust for your pet to cover its care.

2. Digital accounts

In this digital age, remember that your online accounts, such as email, do not disappear on their own. The easiest way to manage them is to share your login information with a trusted person who will close accounts for you. Otherwise, your family will have to go through a complicated process to secure access to each account. Some may allow you to create settings for what to do after long inactivity.

3. Beneficiary deaths

You may have named all your beneficiaries, but have you thought of what to do if one dies? Who will receive that person's share? Will you have the same stipulation no matter who passes on, or will the reassignment of the inheritance depend on the beneficiary and/or type of asset?

4. Disinherited loved ones

Perhaps there is someone you want to exclude from receiving your property. You must explicitly state this disinheritance in your will to make it clear and indisputable. Otherwise, the person may argue that you simply overlooked him or her.

5. A residuary clause

Wills and trusts cannot include everything, especially things you do not own yet or know you own. A residuary clause will cover anything you did not mention specifically or left out by accident.

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