Estate planning documents play a significant role in settling your estate matters after you pass away. It is a good idea to organize these important legal papers so that your family and other beneficiaries easily get through the probate process, and your assets and property are distributed as per your wishes. Here is a checklist of information and documents that you should organize to make things easier for your loved ones at the time of execution of your estate plan.
Organizing Important Information
It may not be a difficult task, but may take you a lot of time to get things in order. A good way for organizing information regarding your estate is to break the tasks into small, manageable groups, and work on those groups one at a time. Some information categories that you should make are:
- Insurance policies
- Deeds, living trusts, wills, and other estate planning documents
- Funeral plans, including method, arrangement and the person who will handle the event
- Items having great family significance, such as heirlooms, photographs, and other irreplaceable things
- Items kept in safety deposit boxes, lockboxes or safes, and other hidden places, along with their codes and location
- Bank, mutual fund, and money market accounts
- Retirement accounts and pension
- Stocks and bonds
- List of important contacts like insurance agents, CPAs, attorneys, etc.
After you have made the list of all the important information, you should think of a way to organize this information so that your trustees and beneficiaries can handle your affairs without any problem.
Organizing Important Documents
Estate Planning Documents
If you want to keep your estate from being exposed to the public and avoid your family from going to probate court after your incapacitation or death, you should get a revocable living trust. If you have children under the legal age, you may want to designate a guardian, which you can do with the help of a pour over will. Get legal advice of a reliable and experienced estate planning attorney who will help you pick the right instruments for managing your estate.
Access to Digital Files and Online Accounts
Prepare a list of online accounts along with their login credentials. It is a good idea to keep your computer password protected at all times, and tell its login information to someone you trust, who will retrieve your accounting information and other important digital files from it. Moreover, you can also get an external hard drive or pen drive, and make a backup of all your data to keep it safe in case your computer is stolen or breaks down.
Financial and Healthcare Documents
You should consider getting healthcare and durable powers of attorney. These documents will give legal authority to someone you trust to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. Be sure to include information about medical coverage and a list of medications and doctors in your healthcare power of attorney.
Other important documents may include your birth certificate, latest tax returns, a copy of your passport and/or state identification, marriage license, and social security number.
Consult with an Elgin Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you want to know to more about organizing your documents and information of your estate plan, please call Jackson Abdalla Law Group today at (773) 550-3853 to schedule an initial consultation. Para español, por favor, llama al (773) 942-6916.