Are You Organized?

The words Are You Organized and question mark coming out of a grMaybe 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! But, will your Personal Representative or Trustee be able to find these and other 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.

Steffens Law Office has developed a “notebook system” to assist you in this all -important task. With a small investment of your time, you can insert the relevant information. Besides preserving your estate, you will save your heirs a lot of time and stress. Maybe even some heartache.

Our “notebook system” includes a number of different sections, all intended to resolve common issues, including the following: 

  • 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 it 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-theblank 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 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 Office.