While estate administration is a task that happens after you pass away, you can do a lot now to prepare for the future. By taking some responsibility on yourself, you can make the job easier for your loved ones or other representative, and you can also boost the chance that matters will be handled in line with your wishes. Here are six things you need to organize now.
First, you need a will. Almost everyone can benefit from a will, even if you have relatively few assets. Wills don’t have to be complex, but you do want to keep up with them and make appropriate changes over the years.
Second, make sure any trusts you’ve created in the past or want to create are up-to-date. Third, create a health care proxy or choose a durable power of attorney. You can use legal documents to define exactly what your agent can and can’t do, but power of attorney forms and living wills ensure your wishes are adhered to regarding end-of-life medical procedures or financial matters if you are ever incapacitated.
Fourth, it’s critical to keep your tax records up-to-date and in a location that your agents can find in the future. Tax records can play a big role in estate administration, and your executor will have to be able to file all appropriate tax returns and associated documents on your behalf.
Fifth, if you have a safe deposit box and you keep valuables or important documents inside, ensure there is a plan in place for your administrator or other trusted agent to gain access to the box. Finally, keep a record of your accounts and logins, particularly when accounts are related to financial matters, so the executor of your estate can appropriately bring each matter to a close in the future. If you aren’t sure how to best prepare for estate administration, reach out to an estate planning lawyer for more information.
If you need the dedicated legal representation for wills, trusts, and estate matters in California, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation.