Before You Make Your Estate Plan

You need an estate plan or you want to update your estate plan. But many people show up at their estate planning attorney’s office unprepared.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A story in the Wall Street Journal says people planning to establish or update an estate plan should first do some homework. Many of them, it says, don’t even know what assets they have.

The article suggests organizing financial information in something called a Family Estate Organizer. This is a tabbed binder that contains contains all relevant financial documents and information, including beneficiary-designation forms, tax returns, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, and even usernames and passwords for online-banking accounts.

With that, you can go to your attorney or financial advisor for a full review of what is in there. If you already have an estate plan, this meeting may uncover problems with it. A financial advisor looking at this document may find problems with tax returns, for example.

The document is also something you can go over with your heirs so they aren’t hit with any surprises should something happen to you.

If you have questions about estate planning, feel free to call us for a consultation at (626) 696-3145.

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