Estate planning can be complex and overwhelming, especially when you’re just starting out. That’s why a planner is such an essential tool for organizing your estate plan. By breaking down the process and writing out the steps in your planner, you can make sure that no detail gets overlooked. In this blog post, I will show you a few tips on how to use your planner for estate planning.
What is a Planner for an Estate Planner?
A planner for estate planning is an organized system that helps you document your wishes, track progress, and ultimately create a comprehensive plan to protect yourself and your loved ones.
The goal of estate planning is to ensure that the assets you’ve worked hard for are distributed according to your wishes when you die or become incapacitated.
An estate plan can include a last will and testament, powers of attorney, living wills, trust documents, beneficiary designations, and more.
How to Use Your Planner for Estate Planning
Create an overview of your plan
Start by writing out a simple summary of your overall plan and its key elements. This should include the main goals you have for your estate, such as who will receive what upon your death or if you become incapacitated.
It’s important to be specific when writing out this information so that all of your wishes are clear and understood.
Make a timeline of tasks
Once you’ve written out the main points of your plan, break down each one into smaller steps and create a timeline for completing them. This will help you make sure that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten in the process.
Record all relevant information
As you work on your plan, keep track of all the relevant details in your planner. This should include information about your advisor, estate planning attorney, tax professional, and legal representative.
And any other professionals involved with your estate plans, such as financial affairs, planners, or insurance agents.
Also jot down notes from meetings and conversations that are held regarding your plan, so that you have a record of it all.
Complete all the important documents
These could include a will, living trust, durable financial and medical powers of attorney, health care proxy, and any other forms or estate planning documents related to your estate plan.
Make sure you list down where these documents can be found, such as online or at a lawyer’s office.
Set up reminders for important dates
Include deadlines for when you need to review and update your estate plan, transfer assets into the names of beneficiaries, and anything else that needs to be done on a regular basis.
You should also set up reminders for filing estate and inheritance taxes associated with your property.
Write the contact information of all parties
This could include estate planning attorneys, financial advisors, accountants, trustees, executors, and other professionals who may need to be contacted regarding your estate plan.
Make sure you keep their phone numbers and email addresses updated in case something needs to be changed or amended.
Keep track of all your assets
This includes bank accounts, retirement funds, life insurance policies, or other investments, property titles and deeds, jewelry or other valuable items, and any other items you may need to include in your estate plan.
List down the details of each asset, such as account numbers, contact information, or codes associated with them.
Update Your Planner
As your life progresses, it’s important to keep track of any changes in your assets or wishes. Be sure to update your estate planning checklist whenever there is a change in order to ensure that your plan remains up-to-date and accurate.
Benefits of using a planner for Estate Planning
- Increase Your Peace of Mind: A planner for estate planning can help you feel more secure knowing that your affairs are in order and that your wishes will be respected after you’re gone.
- Save Time & Money: By organizing the components of your estate plan in a planner, you can make the process more efficient and less time-consuming, while also saving money on professional fees.
- Stay Organized: You won’t need to waste precious time searching for legal documents or trying to remember what tasks still need to be completed because everything is organized in one place.
- Avoid Disputes Between Beneficiaries: With a clear roadmap, you can avoid conflicts between beneficiaries by helping them understand your intentions and providing them with the information they need.
- Make Updates Easier: A planner for estate planning allows you to easily make changes if needed, such as updating beneficiary designations or modifying a trust agreement.
- Streamline Estate Administration: When it comes time to administer the estate, having everything in one place makes it easier for those involved to carry out your wishes according to plan.
- Reduce Stress on Family Members: By documenting your wishes ahead of time, you can reduce stress on family members who may be charged with administering your estate after you’re gone.
- Protect Your Assets: A properly planned estate can help protect assets from creditors, estate taxes, federal estate tax, and other liabilities.
- Avoid Probate: By taking the necessary steps to plan your estate, you can help reduce or even eliminate the need for a probate process.
- Maximize Your Legacy: A planner for estate planning helps ensure that your legacy is maximized by allowing you to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and benefit those you care about most.
Organizing your estate plan in your planner is an essential step for making sure that everything runs smoothly.
With a planner, you can keep track of all the important details related to your estate plan and make sure that no detail gets overlooked.
By following these steps, you’ll have an organized overview of your plan that will help ensure everything is taken care of when the time comes.
With careful planning and organization, you can rest assured your estate plan is in order and ready for whatever life throws at you. Good luck!