Stuff To Do While Quarantined – Organize Your Estate
Several clients have asked for help organizing their estates during the quarantine. It is one of the things we all procrastinate on. If it is been bothering you, now might be the time to get started.
Find your estate documents (we are happy to store an electronic copy). It’s probably a good idea to read them again. You might see changes to be made. Look for wills, trusts, powers of attorneys and advanced directories.
Your attorney will have originals if you cannot locate them.
Powers of Attorney for Healthcare
We’ve had some recent conversations about the section in your Power of Attorney for healthcare covering keeping you alive by artificial means. That could include a respirator.
When you completed your healthcare power, you were probably not thinking about COVID19. If you think you would want to go on a respirator, your estate attorney can help with the specifics.
Ownership of Accounts
If you have revocable trusts, have you funded them? We have conversations with clients every month who have not re-titled individual or joint accounts in the name of their trusts.
We will facilitate this process. Your estate plan will not flow the way you envisioned unless accounts are titled appropriately.
Look at insurance policies, 401k plans, IRAs, anything with a beneficiary designation. They ARE INDEPENDENT of your will. Update the people or charities you want to receive them.
Tangible Property Memos
If there are special belongings you want to go to a particular person, write a memo describing what you want to happen. Talk to your estate attorney. Sign and date it so your heirs recognize the most current version.
Think about your family heritage, stories passed down through your family. Stories you want to share. This is an important part of your legacy.
Consider writing them or make a video sharing values, favorite stories, and memorable images.
Digital asset are electronic records valuable to your heirs. Examples include items stored on phones, tablets, social media, medical records, and digital photos.
Generally anything stored on an electronic device is NOT covered under estate documents.
- Make a list of digital assets and associated passwords.
- Tell your heirs where to find these assets.
- Coordinate with your estate planning attorney to make sure your documents give your executor/power of attorney/trustee the authority to access your digital assets.
Donor Advised Funds
If you have a Donor Advised Fund, review your successors.
There are apps and other electronic ways of recording who to contact in the event of your passing or where to find important information. We have an electronic inventory record if you need one.
We are Here to Help
It is a good time to get to some of these tasks we have been putting off. You may feel a little better when you have completed this important part of your estate planning. We have templates and short cuts to assist with these steps. Contact us anytime.