Maybe you have signed a will or a trust to create an estate plan. Perhaps you also have a property and/or health care powers of attorney. Good for you!
Creating an estate plan is an important step, but will your personal representative or trustee be able to find important planning information after you die?
We advise storing original documents either with your estate planning attorney or in a bank safe deposit box. In addition, we also recommend that you keep a notebook with copies of these documents, as well as some additional information, to aid and guide your personal representative or trustee.
The Steffens Law Offices Notebook System
Steffens Law Offices has developed a notebook system to assist you in making your wishes known. Our notebook system includes a number of different sections, all of which are intended to resolve common issues. For example:
- Personal Property List. Describes specific property and the beneficiary to whom it is to be distributed. (This may reduce some quarreling over family heirlooms.)
- Life Insurance Summary. Lists and describes your policies and the agent contact information. We also suggest filing a copy of the declaration page of each policy in your notebook. Ever wonder how many life insurance policies never pay out because the heirs had no idea they existed?
- Reference List. Describes advisors to contact, like your CPA, attorney, banker, and financial advisor.
- Memorial Instructions. Details the kind of funeral or memorial service you prefer. Also provides a fill-in-the-blank outline of your personal family history to aid in preparing an obituary.
- Inventory. Describes the type and location of your bank accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, pension plan, and annuity, as well as a listing of your vehicles, real estate, machinery, and livestock. There is also a place to describe any ownership designation for this property following your death.
If you are interested in receiving an estate planning notebook, contact us for more information. Otherwise, these notebooks are included in all of the estate planning packages offered by Steffens Law Offices.