Written by Terri North on Friday, Feb 9th
In our last post (part one), we talked about the first ten questions an estate plan should answer.
Today, we're covering the final ten questions every estate plan needs to answer.
- What happens in a family disaster? Think about and plan for what needs to happen if a disaster strikes your entire immediate family.
- What kind of funeral do you want? You should leave notes, or pre-plan, the type of final arrangements that you have in mind.
- Who is your power of attorney? Think carefully about the skills required to handle your finances, legal matters, and run your business, as opposed to the skills needed to understand your medical condition and make care-related decisions. Don't simply list your children, in birth order, as your agents and assume the rest will take care of itself.
- Who is your personal representative or trustee? If you are dead or become disabled, will this person be able to efficiently locate your assets, pay your bills, file your tax returns, and manage/distribute your assets as you've outlined in your estate plan?
- Who will manage your digital assets? Make sure you have a plan in place for how your digital life will be handled, including all of your social media accounts, music accounts, and photo libraries.
- What legacy do you want to leave? You can answer this by writing a non-binding "family love letter" or adding a preamble to your estate documents.
- Are there any organizations that you want to remember in your estate? Make sure your wishes are well documented so that your church or favorite charities are remembered with planned gifts after you're gone.
- Is your estate plan tax efficient? If it has been a while since they were written, you may want to have your accountant and/or attorney review your documents to ensure they are tax efficient.
- Where are your important documents stored? It isn't fair to make your loved ones go on a scavenger hunt for information in the event of an emergency or death. Make sure to communicate to your representative(s) how all of your important documents are stored, and provide passwords or combinations for access if needed.
- Who are your advisors? In the event of an emergency, make sure your loved ones can quickly contact your financial advisor, insurance agent, accountant, and attorney to get copies of existing documents and/or meet upcoming deadlines in a timely manner.