As the world changes, estate planning must change with it. Things that were never even talked about 50 years ago are commonplace in our modern world, and people need to remember that estate planning has to account for everything to be effective. Everyone knows about making sure their assets get distributed to their heirs after they pass away, but there are plenty of estate planning items that are new to the game that people are not aware of, as well as age-old questions that never get asked enough.
What if we all die in a plane crash?
Estate planning can be uncomfortable enough without having to think about what would happen if you passed away in an accident or significant event along with all of your heirs and beneficiaries. As unlikely as it sounds, there is always that slim chance that a plane crashes into your family reunion and your assets are left in limbo. When you are involved in estate planning, you need to take your beneficiary designations as deep as they can go to make sure your estate is handled the way you want it to be.
Why is my status as transgender necessary to bring up in estate planning?
More people are altering their genders these days, and the process is just as complicated as it sounds. Prior to any gender altering surgery or any legal efforts to become recognized as another gender, you established a life with a legal paper trail in your original gender. You need to let your estate planner know that you have altered your gender so that all of the paperwork that gets generated when you pass away matches all of the paperwork generated prior to changing your gender.
Do you have DNA frozen for a later date?
The idea of determining how frozen sperm or eggs are to be used after the donor has passed on is so new that there is no accepted precedent for it yet. Even if you address the subject in your estate planning, the courts could still decide to rule against your wishes. But it is still extremely important to outline how you want your frozen DNA to be handled in your estate planning to give the courts some kind of idea as to what you wanted to happen to it after you had passed on.
What about my pets?
Pets become beloved family members when their owners are alive, but can be cast aside by the courts and even the family after the owners have passed on. It is important for you to consider how you want your pets cared for, and then outline those wished in your estate planning. You will need to set up a fund that the future caretaker can draw on to care for your pets, and then make arrangements with someone in advance to care for your pets after your funeral.
Estate planning can be hard enough, but the amount of details you need to remember can make the entire process frustrating. The political and social landscape of the world is constantly changing, and that means that the needs of the people living in that world change as well. When you start your estate planning, make sure that you have all of your details covered so that all of your future wishes can be attended to after your time on this planet is done.