You Made Estate Planning Documents, Now What?
The ink has just dried on your freshly signed Will, Enduring Power or Attorney and/or Personal Directive, now what?
Well, if you haven’t read our Blog on Storing Your Estate Planning Documents, you should do so and make sure that you find a proper place for storage.
The next thing you should do is write down the various online accounts and passwords for those accounts and store them along with your estate planning documents. I say write them down, because using a vault app on your phone might be a challenge for your Executor (in your Will) or your Attorney (in your Continuing/Enduring Power of Attorney) to open or unlock without you present.
It is extremely important that you write down your social media usernames and passwords as your Executor will otherwise be required to provide proof of authority to act on your behalf to close your account. Your Executor will also have to provide several other documents and information to the social media corporations to close your account(s). It is therefore a lot easier to delete/remove an account if your Executor has your password and login information.
In addition, many people have several social media accounts or accounts that are under various names (other than their own). Without writing them down, your Executor may miss closing some of you accounts.
The final step is to begin to compile information (in the form of a file folder or a binder) that contains copies of documentation showing your assets and liabilities. In this binder, you should include copies or the originals of:
- a certificate of title, deed or tax assessment for any real estate that you own showing the legal description of the property;
- one credit card statement for each credit card in your name;
- a mortgage statement for any mortgage in your name;
- a statement of investment for each investment you hold;
- a bank statement for each account in your name;
- a loan statement for any loan/debt owed by you;
- life insurance policy(s) owned by you;
- a document showing your health/death benefits (if any) through your employer; and
- a document (in the form of a receipt, invoice or contract) showing any prearranged prepaid funeral plans (if you have them).
Most importantly, if you own cryptocurrency, you need to write down and have accessible to your Executor the private and public keys for your wallet as well as your physical cold storage wallet.
You also should include the names and contact information of your various professional advisors (if you have any). For example, your insurance agent, accountant, lawyer or banker.
Finally, tell your Attorney (you have named in your Enduring/Continuing Power of Attorney) and your Executor (named in your Will) where your documents and this information is stored. This not only saves your Executor and Attorney time, but makes their onerous job a bit easier.
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