Once you have completed the initial stages of planning, there are several
additional steps you can take to ensure that you
develop and implement an effective estate plan. The hard part may be out of the way, but estate planning is an ongoing process.
1. Ensure all documents are accounted for.
Most estate plans will incorporate documents from wills and trusts. Additional
documents should point out the correct fiduciaries, explain specific requests,
and describe how powers should be exercised.
Important documents need to be as specific as possible, including information regarding health
care directives to financial management decisions.
2. Create a consistent procedure for managing the documents.
Creating and sharing documents requires a clear policy to keep everything
uniform. The procedure should cover everything from drafting documents
clearly, ensure that all forms are current, and that all information is
3. Establish a procedure for executing documents.
Speak with your lawyer about the plan they have in place to ensure that
your documents are executed properly. How will pertinent information be
communicated to those who need to know it? How will documents be found?
These are essential questions.
4. The process does not end with execution of the documents.
Safe storage of your documents is essential for ensuring that your estate
plan is kept safe. You must also keep up with changes when major life
events occur, including deaths, divorces, and births. If you have transferred
part of a business, you may need additional documents drafted and filed.
5. Clear communication must be ongoing.
Communication with your attorney should not end simply because your
estate plan is in place. It is important to stay in touch regarding issues like title transfers,
changes in desires, and ways to keep documents secure.
Simply because you have drafted a plan does not mean it is immediately
in place. An attorney with experience in estate planning will ensure that
everything is in order for your plan to be implemented. Still have questions
about the next step for your estate plan?
Contact us for more information.