Creating an estate plan is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. However, it is still essential that you keep your supporting records organized. This will make it easier for your family to handle your affairs when you die. Below are a few suggestions for organizing your records:
- Establish a storage system. Go through your paperwork and get rid of any unnecessary documents. Sort the important records and create a filing system that keeps them organized.
- Protect important records. It is important to safeguard your original documents that cannot be replaced in a fire-proof safe or a safety deposit box. We strongly urge clients to use safety deposit boxes. Unless you have a very expensive “in wall” safe, set in concrete, it is unlikely the safe will really stand up to a home fire. Examples of documents you should store safely include your estate planning documents, passports, insurance policies, deeds to real property, titles to vehicles, birth/marriage certificates, and other similar records.
- Separate tax materials. If you maintain a separate file for the documents you will need for your tax filings, it will make the process much simpler when tax time comes.
- Confer with professionals. You should let your attorney and financial advisors keep a copy of all of your essential records.
- Consider online back-up. You may wish to scan and store your records online. There are a variety of websites that provide these services or you can upload your documents to a password-protected hard drive.
The above steps may seem a bit overwhelming to you, but once you establish a document system for your records, it will be easy to maintain. If your home should catch fire or be destroyed in a storm, you will feel relief knowing that your important records are protected.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.