Do you want to start an estate plan but you're a disorganized person? You don't have to worry because there are ways to get organized while doing estate planning. The first step is to locate and store all of your most important documents in a designated place such as a safe box or in a large storage bin that can be placed in your bedroom closet. These documents include your will, birth certificate, marriage license, papers related to your mortgage, car insurance papers, life insurance policies, health insurance documents, and any documents related to your investment accounts. It is also a good idea to write down all passwords and usernames in a notebook along with the accounts they belong to. Here are additional tips.
Meet With an Estate Planning Attorney
Once you compile all the documents you need, meet with a qualified estate planning attorney who can assist you with the planning process. Maybe you remarried and you now need to update your will to include your new spouse and any children that are from your new union. Or it could be that you recently opened an investment account and that you want to include your investment income as part of your assets that beneficiaries will receive upon your death. The attorney can also help you with understanding your state's estate planning laws so that you avoid legal troubles.
Deal With Incoming Mail Immediately
You can also stay organized by looking through important mail immediately instead of tossing it to the side for a few days. If you receive mail about changes to your life insurance policy, you want to open it and read it before placing it in the designated storage box. If some of your mail is about an inheritance you'll receive, read the details and then put it in a place where you can access it easily.
Tell Others Where Your Documents Are
It's also important to tell your family members where your estate planning documents are. Should you become incapacitated or pass away, your relatives will need to know where those documents are so that they can carry out your final wishes and benefit from any assets you left for them. Talk with your beneficiaries about what they will inherit and resolve any conflict that might arise from the conversation.
Review Your Estate Plan
Periodically you should review your estate plan so that you don't leave anything out. For example, you might have a lot of sentimental items that you want to leave to your children and grandchildren. If you forget to mention those specific items and who will receive them upon your death, things might get messy when your loved ones fight over who will get the items.
Don't Forget About Estate Taxes
Proper estate planning organization should also include a plan for dealing with estate taxes. You should talk with your accountant or estate planning attorney about how much your dependents would need to pay in estate taxes, and how you can save enough money now so that your family will have the means to do so. If your survivors don't have the money to pay the estate taxes, they might have to sell things that you wanted them to keep.
Organize Your Digital Life
We live in a time when a lot of our most important information is stored on computers and mobile devices. This is why you need to write down the names, passwords, and any other information about those accounts that your loved ones should know about.
In conclusion, when you have an organized estate plan, you're less stressed and your family will be grateful.
If you need help with your estate plan, contact us. Our Torrance estate planning attorneys are here to guide you through the process so that you can leave an amazing legacy for your family.