There are many practical issues to deal with when planning your estate. You can save your loved ones some headaches by making your wishes known on the following issues:
- Who should be notified upon your death?
- Funeral arrangements.
- The location of any will and/or trust you created, as well as life insurance policies, pensions, annuities or retirement accounts.
- The location of any bank accounts, stocks, bonds or money in mutual funds
- The location of deeds to any real estate you own.
- Location of any passwords to access computer data and information stored in the “cloud.”
Think about this information in a way that will help your loved ones handle your affairs after your death. What is most important is that you create a clear, easily accessible system that will make it easier for your family.
Once you have gotten everything in order, store this information in a safe place like a home safe, fireproof lockbox or file cabinet. Also be sure to discuss your wishes and the location of your important documents with your loved ones.
All this information can be recorded and kept in your estate planning portfolio for easy access.
Remember, any assets that you wish to place in the trust must be titled in the trust's name. In most situations, only the assets that have been properly transferred to the trust will avoid probate. For example, if you wish to place your house into your trust, you must create and record a deed transferring the house from your name into your name as the trustee of your trust.