Keep Estate Planning Documents Well OrganizedTuesday, December 6th, 2016, 10:27 am
Preparing an estate plan for your family to follow after your passing is the smart way to ensure your assets and possessions fall into the right hands. But there are a few additional steps you will want to take beyond creating an estate plan to reduce the headache and stress your family may experience during an already difficult time.
One of those steps includes organizing all important documents and ensuring a responsible member of your family knows where they are and what they mean.
What Documents Should You Organize?
Each individual will have a different set of important documents that their family members may need access to. However, some of the most common documents and records that family members will need after a death include things like real estate deeds, stocks and bonds, bank account or safety deposit box information, and account information for retirement plans, pensions, and insurance policies.
If you have any specific details about your funeral or burial that you would like your family to follow through with, documents detailing your preferences should also be addressed.
Why Organize These Documents?
If you do not properly share these documents or information with your family, they may miss out on compensation or benefits that they are entitled to. If your family does not know your insurance policy information or cannot access your bank accounts or stocks and bonds, they may go unclaimed or the government may claim possession of them.
When you take the time to properly plan who should need this information and where the applicable documents are located, you can better ensure your property and assets are passed on to the people you care about.
How Should You Organize the Information?
Because each individual will have different loans, property, bank accounts, and stocks, you will want to consider your unique needs. You can begin by creating a list of all plans and policies you hold. You will also want to make a list of any items that you may have hidden or stored elsewhere.
If you need additional help going through your policies, plans, or documents, you can contact an estate planning attorney at Michael F. Kanzer & Associates.