Don’t Forget about These Assets When Creating an Estate Plan

Airplane.jpgCreating an estate plan is a wise decision for any adult. It allows people to document their wishes, appoint people to act on their behalf, and distribute their property after the die.

Considering all that an estate plan can do, it can be somewhat overwhelming and intimidating to create one. For instance, you might not even realize how many assets you have, or know the best ways to distribute them.

Don’t forget about these assets

People typically think about retirement accounts, real estate, heirloom jewelry, and personal collections when they think about the assets they want their loved ones to receive. However, not all assets are tangible. For example, the late chef, author and traveler Anthony Bourdain reportedly left his frequent flyer miles to his estranged wife in his estate plan. Considering how much he traveled in his career, this could be a substantial gift.

When you are thinking about your assets, it is important to consider:

  • Frequent flyer miles
  • Memberships
  • Credit card rewards
  • Loyalty program points
  • Royalties
  • Patents

What to do with them

How you distribute these assets will vary based on the specific program and the company that manages them. In some cases, the transfer can be fairly straightforward if you specify the receiving party in a will. In other cases, it can be more problematic if the company sets restrictions on who can inherit points and when the rewards expire.

The importance of legal guidance

Rather than risk creating problems for your loved ones, or overlooking certain assets, you can discuss these and other types of property with your estate planning attorney. A legal representative can be more familiar with how to transfer these types of property and can help you put in place an estate plan that addresses the entirety of your estate.