• Shelley Yates

Leaving a Legacy: What Your Estate Plan Doesn't Cover

A few weeks ago, we spoke about the 6 steps of estate planning. But estate planning isn’t just about setting up a will and getting financial documents in order. It’s also about thinking about the legacy you want to leave long after you are gone. Here are 5 things not related to financial assets that you should consider while planning your legacy:

  • Identification numbers: Your Social Security number, driver’s license number, etc. are likely useful for your heir(s) to have at hand as they sort through your estate.

  • Online presence: Nowadays, so much of our lives are online. While they may not have monetary value, it is important to consider how you want your digital assets (such as photos stored online, social media profiles, online accounts, etc.) handled. Providing your passwords can significantly add your family in handling your digital assets.

  • Family traditions/memories: Are you the keeper of a secret family recipe no one else knows? Or the only remaining family member who remembers stories your great-grandmother told? Writing these things down mean that family traditions and memories can outlive you.

  • Special requests: Do you wish to donate your organs? Do you want memorial attendees to donate to your favorite charity instead of sending flowers? While these things can be especially hard to think about, if you feel strongly about them, it can be very helpful for your family to have your wishes to refer back to.

  • Guardian instructions: Beyond designating a guardian for your child(ren) or pet(s), it can be helpful to provide that guardian with medical records (including allergies, medications, preferred service providers, etc.), favorite foods, and any other pieces of information that can ease the transition.

While estate planning can be a hard topic to think about, it is critical to protecting your legacy long after you are gone.

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