Estate Planning - Organize Your Information

If you, or you and your spouse, unexpectedly died, would your surviving family members know enough about the nature of your business and financial dealings and the location of the associated documentation to properly take care of your affairs?

If, for some reason, you do not want to discuss this information with your family or the other person or financial institution you have selected to managed your affairs in the event of your death, prepare a comprehensive list of all of your assets and liabilities, how the assets are titled (for example: in your name alone, jointly held with your spouse or others, or in your living trust), the location of various accounts and account numbers, information about life insurance, annuities and retirement plan benefits and the named beneficiaries, your attorney, accountant, financial advisors, and the person you have selected as your personal representative or successor trustee to manage your affairs after your death.

We recommend compiling all of this information in a well-marked binder and making sure its location is known to your family members and/or advisors. Include copies of bank and brokerage statements, deeds, insurance policies, beneficiary designations and other similar documentation. And don’t forget about online bank accounts. Without prior knowledge of the account, your personal representative may never find out about it because paper statements are not typically mailed on these accounts.

It is also helpful to include an Estate Planning Summary which outlines your overall estate plan if this has been provided by the attorney who prepared your estate planning documents. It is extremely beneficial, if you have not already made this information known, to include your desires for your final arrangements, including the funeral home you prefer, and any pre-arrangement you have made.

Like estate planning itself, this tends to be something we all put off. Add it to your “To-Do” list and get it done in a timely fashion.

If you have any questions about this information or estate planning in general, please contact us.

Curtis & Curtis, P.C. is a full service law firm located in Jackson, Michigan providing superior legal services and advice to individuals, families and businesses throughout mid-Michigan since 1901.

This publication is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute formal legal or other professional advice. No attorney-client relationship is created with you when you read this information. The above information may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date, and may not reflect the most current legal developments. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Curtis & Curtis, P.C.

Categories: Estate Planning