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 regularly reviewed.
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.