Like most, you probably realize that this isn’t something to put off any longer. Instead, you need to create a plan that suits the best interests of both you and your family.
What should my estate plan include? While many people believe that this is nothing more than a will, others realize that it includes so much more. Here is an excerpt from our estate planning services webpage that explains this in greater detail:
“Your estate includes all asset and everything you own. Real estate and land, bank accounts, insurance proceeds, investments, and personal property are just a few examples of assets of an estate plan.”
With all this in mind, it goes without saying that you will have plenty of estate planning documents. What you do with these depends on your personal preference, your family situation, and who you have named as your executor.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Keep All Estate Planning Documents Together
It doesn’t matter how many documents you have, these should be kept together at all times. The last thing you want is for your documents to be spread all over, making it difficult for your loved ones or executor to collect what they need upon your death.
As you create a new estate planning document, be sure to add it to the rest. Once this becomes habit, you’ll enjoy the fact that everything your family needs is located in one place.
Keep Them Safe
Can you think of anything worse than your estate planning documents being destroyed or stolen? Since this is a common concern, you need to keep them in a safe place.
The location you choose is up to you. For example, some people opt for a safety deposit box at the bank. If you choose this location, you know your documents will be safe and secure at all times.
Others have no problem keeping these in a safe in their home. As long as the safe can’t be stolen and will protect the documents against disasters, such as fire and flood, this is a reasonable idea.
You have the right to store estate planning documents wherever you best see fit. Just make sure you consider the pros and cons of each area before you make a final decision.
This doesn’t mean that everybody in your life should know where your estate planning documents are located. That being said, you should make it clear to those who need to know.
For example, if an adult child is your executor, make sure he or she knows where to go when the time comes to collect and review your estate planning documents. This is much better than keeping the documents hidden, meaning that your loved ones will face a big challenge when you pass on.
Share the location of your estate planning documents with those who need to know. If you change the location, make sure you update this same group of people.
As you probably know, there is more to estate planning than what you see on the surface. As you move through the process, it’s safe to assume that you will collect one document after the next. Although this may seem like a pain in the neck, it’s actually a good thing.
The advice above will ensure that you’re always doing what’s best for your estate plan. Along with this, you can download our free report entitled “Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Wills and Living Trusts.”
With this report, you’ll better understand why it’s a good idea to work with a professional to create a comprehensive estate plan. It may sound simple to create a will or living trust on your own, but this process can be full of challenges.
If you have any questions about estate planning, including what you should do with your documents, reach out to us at your earliest convenience. We’ll make sure you have the knowledge you need to make informed decisions now and in the future.
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