Six assets that are often forgotten about in a will
Many people believe they have accounted for everything they own in their will, only to find that sometimes some assets slip through the net.
The Percy Hughes & Roberts wills and probate team deal with hundreds of wills every year. Some are very straightforward, while others are quite complex and need a lot of care and attention.
Our team often come across clients who have forgotten to include assets which, on the face of it, are not vastly important to the estate and their family or beneficiaries. However, when you delve into some of the more unusual assets that are overlooked, you can begin to understand why they are potentially so important.
Here, we will take you through six of the most common forgotten about assets and tell you why they are important to include, and how making your will as comprehensive as possible will ensure your family benefit from everything you have earned over your lifetime.
1. Online Finances
In today’s world, so much of our lives are online, including most of our finances. Our clients will inevitably always remember to include online bank accounts in their will. However, e-commerce is now so popular that many clients may be using multiple platforms – and not just online banks.
It is increasingly common for people to hold money in accounts like PayPal, eBay or Bitcoin, in addition to any money held in online betting accounts. Often, these accounts will be overlooked either due to the individual failing to remember them, or due to the assumption that there is not enough money in the accounts to make it worthwhile.
To save any confusion or distress when it comes to executing your will, we would advise providing details for any online bank accounts, online money transfer systems, online shopping accounts and any online betting accounts in your will.
2. Other digital assets
In addition to any money that is being stored online, there are many other types of online assets that can be overlooked when writing a will.
The most common digital asset we see being forgotten about are social media accounts. These have little monetary value, but may contain valuable photos, videos and chat logs that friends and family wish to download as a keepsake.
If, for example, you wish someone to close your social media presence down after you have died, this will need to be clearly detailed in your will, with password details of each social media platform.
Facebook does allow users to decide what happens to their account after they die. Unless they are told otherwise, Facebook will turn your page into a memorial page, which cannot be changed. If you do not want this to happen, you will need to add a legacy contact to your account.
3. Sentimental belongings
In addition to social media, many of the most meaningful items in our possession do not have much monetary value. Sentimental belongings like photo albums, family heirlooms and DVD/CD collections can often be overlooked when writing a will.
Who these belongings go to after you die should be decided beforehand, so that all of the beneficiaries know and there are no potential disputes.
This is not an overly common asset to be left out of a will due to how much people love their pets, but it does occasionally happen. Individuals can simply overlook their pet and what happens to it after they die.
It is important to name a primary and secondary caregiver for your pet, as the arrangements often become a source of contention among loved ones. In the worst case scenario, your pet could end up in a shelter.
In addition to this, you cannot leave assets or property directly to a pet in your will, but you can leave assets to the beneficiary who is to look after your pet.
5. Air Miles
“Your air miles may die with you... Unless you put them in your will” states this Telegraph article. This is undoubtedly something many people will overlook when writing a will, but these air miles could be worth thousands.
Travelling is becoming both cheaper and more popular, and many people will rack up thousands of air mile points over their lifetime. These air miles can be used to front the bill of other flights, even after you have passed away.
Unfortunately, certain airlines like British Airways will not let you pass on air miles in your will. However, many do, as long as you have specifically stated it in your will.
6. Loyalty Points
Much like air miles, individuals will rack up loyalty points from all sorts of places over their lifetime. Whether it is the weekly shop loyalty card, Nectar – which claims to have over 19 million customers – or a particular hotel chain, many individuals find they have accrued a sizable chunk of discount points over the years.
Whether you can pass them on to a beneficiary will depend on each scheme’s individual terms and conditions. However, the best practice is to include all of the loyalty cards and clearly state what you want done with them to ensure that you are covered in any eventuality.
How can Percy Hughes & Roberts help?
At Percy Hughes & Roberts Solicitors, we have a team of dedicated wills solicitors who are ready to help you resolve your query or issue relating to wills as quickly and effectively as possible.
This may include writing a will from scratch, or updating an existing one after a change of life circumstances or remembering that you have forgotten to include an asset.
If you need assistance with writing a will, making a change to a will, or simply want general advice, our Wirral Wills and Probate solicitors have a wealth of experience.
Contact Percy Hughes & Roberts
To speak to a wills and probate solicitor for advice, contact Percy Hughes & Roberts for a no-obligation phone consultation today. We provide ourselves on offering expert advice that's easy to understand, and we will be with you through every step of the legal process.