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What to Do with Difficult Assets in Your Estate Plan

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When drafting an estate plan, most of our clients worry about who to leave their home to, as well as what they should do with cash in a savings account or investments like stocks and bonds.

However, there are some assets that are very complicated to deal with in an estate plan. You might need to use different planning techniques, like a trust, so that you can properly leave them to your heirs. Read on for more information.

Timeshares

A timeshare is a way to own a vacation home with multiple other people. Your ownership allows you to use the vacation home for an allotted amount of time. Some people buy timeshares in desirable locations, like Hawaii or even here in Florida.

Unfortunately, timeshares usually put you on the hook for expensive maintenance fees. Many of your heirs will be less than happy to receive a timeshare and will want to get rid of it, which can sometimes be difficult as there might not be willing buyers. Estate planning options could include holding the timeshare in a limited liability company or in a separate revocable trust.

Old Insurance Policies

You might have a policy for a small cash value. You should check to see if the company is still in business so you can cash out the policy as soon as possible. Things become more complicated if you die and leave it to your personal representative to try and track down the company that issued the policy.

Small Accounts

You might have multiple bank accounts, each with a small amount of money in it. Often, it is easier to consolidate everything while living so that your personal representative doesn’t have to when you die.

Retirement Accounts

If you worked multiple jobs, you might have several 401(k)s, 403(b)s, or even IRAs. Ideally, you should see if you can roll them all over into one account. This makes it much easier for you to draw income when you retire.

Also, each account might have a different beneficiary. If you had a 401(k) when you were young, your mother or even a sibling could be the named beneficiary. When you roll all accounts into one, you can also update the beneficiary, naming your spouse or your children.

Digital Assets

You might own many assets in digital form. For example, your Kindle could have a gigantic library that you want to leave to someone. The key with digital assets is to ensure that your personal representative and heirs can ultimately access them, especially if the assets are password protected.

You might also own intellectual property in digital form—pictures you have taken as part of a business, a novel you wrote, etc. If your intellectual property has real market value, then you need to choose someone who can maximize that value after you are gone. This might be where you benefit from a trust. The trustee could be someone who understands the economics of the industry.

Speak with an Estate Planning Lawyer in The Villages

Estate planning is not as easy as many people think, and using a “fill in the blank” will form might end up hurting you. To properly create an estate plan, please contact the estate planning attorneys in the Villages at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today. We offer a free consultation, which you can schedule by calling 800-743-9732.

Resource:

forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/09/16/buying-a-timeshare-the-pros-and-cons/#49c2c7001098

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