THE ESTATE PLAN
Eventually.... Here's how to allow your estate plan to work:
- Keep all of your estate planning documents (will, trust, powers of attorney, etc) together in one place, and make sure your estate planning assistant and your backup trustee know the location. Do NOT use a Safety Deposit Box. They can't get access when needed. You can also have multiple copies.
- Keep updated lists of assets with your estate planning documents including life insurance policies, retirement and investment accounts, bank accounts, property, etc.
- Make it as easy as possible for an executor to find any remaining debt you may have. File your bills in a tidy and logical location.
- Make a list of personal property and your wishes for it; this may be the hardest thing for you, but it will prevent emotion-driven bickering among your heirs. You would be surprised at what kinds of trinkets people will fight over.
- Donít be secretive about your advisors. The people who advised you in life can be of invaluable service to your executor after youíve passed away.
- Give the name and contact information of your estate planning assistant and your backup trustee, and protect your heirs ahead of time. The world of probate can be strange and entangled, and your plan can serve as a guide to loved ones who are still confused and in shock.
A little organization can be one of the greatest gifts you leave behind for your heirs.