Do you have an estate plan? Statistics show that many people do not have any basic estate planning documents. A recent survey found that only 14% of adults aged 18-29 have an estate plan, 35% of 30-49 year olds have one, 56% of those aged 50-64 and 68% for those over 65.
Clearly the issue of where most people’s estate plans are is simple . . . They don’t have one. But there is another issue that many people tend to overlook once they have their estate plan in place. Quite a number of people either cannot recall where they put their documents or do not tell anyone where those documents are located. Are the documents at home? In a fireproof box? At your attorney’s office? In a safe deposit box? Or, perhaps buried in a box that wasn’t unpacked after a move? If you can’t find your estate planning documents, it may be a wise choice to redo your estate plan. After all, if no one can find your documents when the time comes that is basically the same as not having a Will in the first place.
Equally as important, even if you know precisely where your documents are, is having a list of accounts, passwords, and advisor names and contact information. This is an often overlooked aspect of estate planning. However, if you have a number of online accounts that no one can access, you have done a disservice to your executor or other family members. Keep in mind that the person dealing with your estate is probably a close family member that may be having difficulty dealing with the loss of a loved one. Adding the task of having to dig through your entire house, with years and years of accumulated stuff, searching for paperwork, accounts and passwords makes life even more difficult for those you leave behind.
Every estate plan we produce comes with an additional paperwork so you can keep all your important information in one place, thereby making it easier for your family to handle your affairs. So make sure you know where your estate plan is located, inform the people you have chosen to act for you when the time comes and have all the information your family will need filled out and accessible.