Estate planning is a crucial task for everyone no matter their income level. Many people in Texas know this and have a last will and testament as well as named beneficiaries for their insurance. However, people tend to forget some of the more practical aspects of estate planning.
The ultimate goal when planning an estate is to make things easy for the survivors. There are several simple ways to do this. The first is to provide a financial overview document. This doesn’t need to be detailed, just a rundown of some basics. For example, it should list the names of financial institutions and which accounts are held where. It should also have details like the VIN number of any cars and information about payments. This document will be enormously helpful right after a death.
Secondly, an estate plan can include a more detailed master directory. This should be stored in a secure location, and it should have specifics like account numbers that aren’t in the overview. Names and numbers for key contact people should also be listed here. Examples would include the contact information for insurance agents. If there are pets, it’s also important to make sure their vaccination, licensing and veterinarian information is clearly listed somewhere.
One newer concern is the digital estate that a person will leave behind. Websites like Facebook now make it possible to put a succession plan in place. Users can name the people who will manage their accounts when they’re gone. An individual can make a list of all social media sites, passwords and handles so that the accounts can continue to be managed or deleted as desired.
For additional pragmatic advice about estate planning, an experienced attorney may be helpful. Attorneys handle these issues often and are well-equipped to guide their clients through the planning process. They may be able to provide real peace of mind for families.