Most people think of estate planning as putting a will or a trust in place.
But estate planning also includes something as simple as making a list
of what you own and where it can be found.
Making a list of what you own and where it can be found can be one of the
most helpful things you can do for whoever you designate to step in and
take care of your affairs either because you have become incapacitated
or you have passed away. Imagine walking into the house of one of your
family members or a close friend and having to just start opening cabinets
and drawers looking for anything “important”. It can feel
like an invasion of privacy despite their reliance on you to step in and
take care of things for them. How much easier it would be and how much
faster you could step in and help if you knew they had a list and a road
map prepared for you.
The list should include things like your financial accounts, life insurance
policies, information about your cars and your home and contact information
for helpful resources such as your family members, accountant, insurance
agent, financial advisor and attorney.
Putting the list together doesn’t have to be difficult. Just tackle
a small part of it each day. Before you know it, you will have a complete
list and your estate plan will no longer be missing this key, but often
overlooked, element for its efficient and effective implementation.