Planning your estate is vital when you are getting older and have acquired some assets in your life. A good estate plan can protect your children and provide well for them. It can also help your family to avoid bickering and fighting over your assets when you're gone. Here are some tips to remember as you do your estate planning.
Keep a List of Assets
Your children and other relatives may not know about all the assets you have. That's why it's important to keep a record of all your assets in one place. Keep all bank statements and stock information together. Take photographs of any jewelry and highly-valued items. When there is a record of everything you own, it becomes easier to keep track of. No one will go walking off unnoticed with your ruby necklace, for example. Once you have a list of all your important assets, be sure to share the location of that list with someone you trust, so that it can be located when the time comes.
Review Your Plan Regularly
Once you have an estate plan in place that details how you'd like to settle your affairs, it's easy to forget about it. However, to avoid problems for your relatives and beneficiaries, it is smart to review your plan on a regular basis to make sure that you apply changes as necessary. For instance, births in the family may mean that you need to add another name to your beneficiary list. You may have a falling out with a relative and want to choose a different executor. Don't wait to make changes, because you may not get the chance to do it at a later date.
Talk to Your Executor
If you have designated a relative to act as your executor, it's important that you sit down with them now and explain what your plans are. In fact, it would be wise for you and the executor sit down with an estate administration attorney to ensure that your executor is aware of the responsibilities that accompany their role. This will help them to know what to do after your passing, and they won't have to learn on the spot as they are in grieving.
Remember the above tips in this article so that you can make good estate planning decisions. Make sure you consult an estate administration attorney, such as Edward G. Foster, if you have any questions. Find someone who can help your executor manage your affairs once you pass away.