This post was most recently updated on April 22nd, 2022
This pre-death checklist can help you organize your affairs
There is more to estate planning than just writing a testament. Accounting for all your assets will help ensure that your plan is implemented smoothly after you die.
Writing down all assets and wishes will help you make sure they are not forgotten.
You can protect your assets by designating beneficiaries in retirement accounts and completing the transfer of death designations on any other accounts.
More than a Last Will and Testament
Estate planning extends beyond the creation of a will. Comprehensive planning involves taking inventory of all assets and ensuring that they transfer to the recipients as smoothly as possible. You should also make sure that your plan is communicated to others, such as leading Wills and Estates Lawyers Sydney, and guarantee your will is understood by them and bound by law.
You don’t know where you should start? This is a checklist to help you get started. 34
Itemize Your Inventory
Take a look around your home to identify all valuable items. The home itself, jewelry, collectibles vehicles, art, and antiques as well as computers or laptops and lawn equipment are some examples.
Your list will probably be longer than you thought. You might add notes to the list as you go.
Make a list
Create a separate listing for open credit cards and other obligations. This list should contain items such as mortgages, auto loans, home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs), or any other debts. Include account numbers, the address of signed agreements, as well as the contact information of companies that hold the debt.
Consider all your credit cards. Note which ones you use often and which ones you keep in a drawer.
It’s a good habit to obtain a free credit score at least once every year. It will also reveal any credit cards you may have forgotten to have 5
Take copies of your lists
When you have completed your lists, sign and date them. At least three copies should be made. The original should go to your estate administrator. We’ll get into that more lately. If you are married, give the second copy to your spouse. Keep the final copy safe.
Keep your insurance current
As with retirement accounts, life insurance and annuities will be directly passed to beneficiaries. It is important to reach out to all life insurance companies to verify that your beneficiaries have been correctly listed.
Assign Transfer to Death Designations
Assets left in a will go through probate. This process, where assets are distributed according to court instruction, can be costly.
Many accounts, such as bank savings, CCD accounts, or individual brokerage accounts, do not require probate. These accounts can be modified or set up to have a death (TOD), designation. This allows beneficiary’s access to assets without having to go through probate. For more information, please contact your bank or custodian.
Select a Responsible Estate Administrator
Your executor, or estate administrator, will handle your will upon your death. You must choose someone responsible and capable of making sound decisions.
Your spouse may not be the right choice. You should think about the impact that your death and emotions on this person’s decision-making ability. Consider hiring qualified individuals if you see an issue.
You must sign and date the will in front of at least two witnesses. You should also make sure that anyone else has the document’s exact location so they have it available in case of emergency.
Regularly examine your documents
You should update your will at least twice a year and after major life-changing events like marriage, divorce, birth, etc. Your life is always changing. Therefore, your wishes and assets will likely change from one year to the next.
Visit an Estate Attorney or a Financial Planner
You may feel that you’ve covered everything. However, it might be worth speaking with a professional about an investment or Property Transfer after Death. It’s worth revisiting your plan, especially if it’s been a while. Your needs will change over time. You may want to consider whether or not you need long term-care insurance. Also, protect your estate from costly tax bills and lengthy court procedures. You can also expect professionals to keep an eye on any changes in legislation or income tax laws that may impact your bequests.