There are practical concerns as well as legal concerns when it comes to estate planning. Many of the chores and decisions that your family members will have to do after you die are typically not addressed by conventional estate planning agreements. You can save them a lot of trouble by letting them know your preferences on things like:
- In the event of your death, who really should be informed?
- Are you planning a funeral or a burial service? If so, which one? Who should show up? Do you want others to bring you flowers, or do you prefer charitable donations?
- Do you have a will or a living trust in place? What did you do with them?
- Do you have a life assurance policy, a retirement, alimony, or a 401(k)? What is the location of the documents?
- Do you have a checking or savings account? Do you keep your valuables in a safe deposit box? What happened to the records?
- Do you invest in stocks, commodities, or mutual funds? What happened to the records?
- Do you own a piece of real estate? What happened to the deeds?
The majority of us keep this knowledge in our thoughts and never address it in-depth with our family members or our trust and estate attorney. Our family members must make every effort to straighten everything out later.
Avoid Unnecessary Losses
Failure to organize your affairs might result in costly or unpleasant losses. Unredeemed stocks, securities, banking information, real estate, and health coverage benefits may be handed over to the state legislature. Remarkably frequently, this occurs. Thousands of dollars are lost each year in state finances because legitimate property owners cannot be traced.
On a more intimate level, families or acquaintances may not promptly be notified of a death, and significant family lineage may be lost to subsequent generations.
Thankfully, losses like these may be averted with a bit of preparation, categorizing, and organizing.
Organize Your Information
It is not difficult to make things easy for your family, but it may take some time. It’s preferable to split the work down into small chunks and tackle it one at a time. Consider the following broad categories of data: memorial service plans, insurance plans, bequests, living trusts, wills, and other legal documentation, retirement benefits and pension accounts, financial institution, stocks and shares, and equity investment accounts, bond funds, objects in safes, bank vaults, and other lockable or hidden sites, and genetic predisposition, such as the location of pictures, treasures, and other indispensable items. Seeking help from trust litigation lawyers is the best way to approach such situation.
Then consider how you may organize this information to make it easier for your family to manage your affairs when you pass away. You may arrange the data any way you choose — handwritten notes in a convenient area are preferable to nothing — but if you do have enough time and inclination, consider taking a complete approach.
Once you’ve got everything within an order, make sure to keep your records in a secure location. Everything should be kept in a lockable storage container, filing cupboard, or personal safe. Also, make sure to tell your friends and family about your new records. Your meticulous labor will be useless unless they understand where to go for critical documents when the time arrives.