Finish Your Estate Plan
The idea behind any well-constructed estate plan is to organize your assets during life, so they may be distributed in a thoughtful and tax-efficient manner upon your death. When speaking with people about their wishes regarding how their estate will be handled, almost every discussion involves a desire for ease, simplicity, and that managing the estate not burden their families and beneficiaries.
Many times I see individuals and families work incredibly hard, spending countless hours to develop comprehensive and sometimes complicated estate plans, only to stop short of completing the few extra steps involved to ensure things run as smoothly as possible after they are gone. In working with families and individuals during this phase of their financial life, there are two elements that consistently present themselves in any successful transition; communication and organization.
After an estate plan has been designed and documents produced and signed, it is important to discuss the plan with the parties involved. This is a great opportunity to minimize any confusion and make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your intentions. Depending on the situation, these conversations can sometimes be difficult, but this usually does not compare to the potential difficulties that arise as a result of not having them.
Once everyone is on the same page, and understands your wishes and intentions, organize the documents that will be needed to execute the plan. Below is a list of the documents and resources that you should consider consolidating.
|Power of Attorney
Once you have gathered all of the necessary documentation, find a central location to store your documents, and deliver copies to those involved. There are several online resources now which securely manage a set of documents which you can update as needed, and grant access to those who will need it in the future. This is a convenient option that allows for a central point of access for everyone involved.
By keeping your plan documents up to date, communicating with those involved, and organizing your documents, you will be ahead of the curve when it comes to making sure things are as easy and simple as they can be for your beneficiaries.
Interested in making sure that your plan is up to date? Here is a helpful article and checklist that Jennifer put together for just that purpose.