Article published by : Article Alley on Friday, November 30, 2012

Category : Legal

Planning for the Future - How to Ensure Your Estate Can Find Crucial Information

For some people, it can be difficult to take the first steps toward making a plan that would carry out their wishes after they pass away. No one knows exactly how much time he or she has before these documents will become necessary. Putting these directions and wishes on paper can help ensure that these wishes are followed, and that the things that are being handed down go to the proper individual.

While dealing with the loss of a loved one is a very challenging time, families will often have other concerns to deal with after the passing. In order to carry out the deceased's wishes, families need to know exactly what property was owned. They need to compile complete lists, and then determine what is going to each person under the terms of the estate plan.

In the past, most individuals would know where to find this information. A person may have a place where these papers would be stored, but times have changed. Tracking down a list of accounts, assets and debts can be quite confusing to families that have to find this out on their own.

Much of our information is now stored electronically. Many people pay most, if not all, of their bills online. Often, these bills are not sent to homes, only to email accounts. If an individual passes away, the family may be unaware that certain bills need to be paid. This can cause the estate severe hardship in the future if balances become past due.

Additionally, many individuals also do their banking online, and do not receive paper statements about these accounts. If this information is not recorded somewhere in the estate plan, the family may have no idea that these accounts exist, or be able to close the account in the future.

Many professionals would suggest that individuals include a list of all important accounts and passwords as part of an estate plan. Having all of this information in one place can save the family time and frustration.

Computer and social media passwords should also be included with this information. That way, family members can notify your friends of your passing, and also deactivate accounts if necessary. Computers may also contain important documents and photos, and letting the family know where to find these items can allow them to be retrieved.

Everyone should take the time to draft a comprehensive plan to ensure that their wishes are carried out when they pass away. If you have questions about how to distribute your property, speak to an experienced estate planning attorney to understand how to achieve your goals.

If you do not have a proper plan in place, the property may be distributed according to the current laws within in the state. This could prevent certain assets from going to the right people. An estate plan helps your family a great deal during a difficult time.

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