If you are preparing to plan your estate, it is also important for you to organize your estate planning documents once they are completed so that they will be easier for your loved ones to find. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can assist you with planning and can offer some tips for organizing your information.
Tell your loved ones your wishes
After you pass away, there may be a number of different decisions that your loved ones will need to make that might not be included in your basic estate planning documents. You can help to save them some hassles by letting them know about your wishes. Some of these things might include the following:
- People to notify about your death
- Whether you want a funeral or a memorial
- The type of funeral arrangements that you want
- Who you would like to attend your funeral
- Where you keep your trust or will
- Whether you own a pension, life insurance policy, retirement account or annuity, and where the documents are stored
- Where your bank records are located and if you have a safe deposit box
- Whether you own stocks, mutual funds or bonds
- Where the deeds to your real estate are located
Having a document in which you’ve detailed all of this information for your loved ones can make their tasks much easier to handle after you die.
If you don’t organize your information, your family may suffer avoidable losses. Your bank accounts, insurance policies, bonds and stocks might not be claimed and be turned over to your state’s government. Every year, state treasuries receive millions of dollars because of an inability to locate the rightful owners of the property. In addition to property losses, relatives may not be notified of your death, and important information about your family history may not be passed along to future generations.
Getting organized may take some time. It is best for you to break the job into manageable steps. Being by considering some of the broad areas, including the following:
- Funeral wishes and who you want to notify
- Insurance policies
- Deeds, trusts, wills and other documents
- Retirement accounts and pensions
- Bank, mutual fund and money market accounts
- Items hidden away in safes and safe deposit boxes
- Stocks and bonds
- Heirlooms and photographs
You should then think about how to organize this information to help your family the most. The way you decide to organize your affairs should be accessible and clear. When you have arranged all of your information, it is important for you to keep it in a safe place and to tell a close loved one where the information can be found. For more help with planning, contact Elder Care Direction to schedule a consultation.