Updated: May 23, 2022
Make a List of Your Assets and Your Beneficiaries.
It can be very overwhelming when you think about setting up your estate plan. One of the most common reasons that people give as to why they don’t have an estate plan or just a will is because they don’t know where to start. Another reason is that many people say, “I don’t really have anything to leave to someone.”
Well, if you have a pet, you have a very important asset to leave to someone (remember that the law sees pets as property), but you may also have more assets than you think you have. That’s why I recommend to people that they start with making a simple list of things they have that they might leave to someone.
Once you have that list, you have taken the first step to documenting your plan, and the good news is, when you are armed with that information, an attorney can advise you on the best way to set up your estate and guide you through the remainder of the process, often for a pretty low cost if it is a simple estate. I also recommend that you find an attorney who offers an initial consultation for free. That way, when you come in with your list, the attorney can quickly tell how simple or complex the estate planning documents will be and give you a cost estimate.
So, to help you get started, I have put together a list of common assets and beneficiaries. I hope that this kick starts your estate planning journey. If you take care of your estate planning documents, it will give you peace of mind, especially if you now have a documented plan for the care of your pets.