So have you done it? Have you gathered your information about what you own? If you haven’t. That’s OKAY. If you haven’t done it perfectly. That’s alright. The more organized you are, the better. But don’t let perfection stop you from getting this stuff done. Now, check in with professionals who can figure out what the to-do list will look like when you die and help you to make that list as manageable as possible.
STEP 2 – CHECK IN
As I’ve met with clients to figure out what the legal to do list will be when they die and I’ve met with families to go through that to do list, I’ve noticed that manageable to do lists are left by people who by and large went through a process to leave an organized after life.
These are people who have a general understanding of what they have and have their financial information organized, or at least know how to track down documents like deeds, titles, and designations to figure out how their assets would transfer now. That’s Step 1, gathering that information.
But how do you know what the documents mean? Do your assets transfer how you want them to, to whom you want them to go? Does the deed say the house will be owned by the surviving spouse? Will you get a new title for the car by showing a death certificate, or do you need legal paperwork?
What’s the best way for assets to transfer and what do you need to change to have it go that way?
That’s the importance of checking in with professionals.
Check with your insurance provider and retirement benefits administrator to double check your designations. Remember, those are Type 1 assets that automatically transfer to who the person listed in the designation, even if the will says something different.
Meet with a lawyer licensed where you are who can discuss the legal process to transfer assets in your estate, how to avoid that process, the drawbacks avoiding that process, and really talk through what will be most efficient for your situation.
Once you’ve talked through the most efficient method of transferring assets, and talked through any other legal issues that can come up, an attorney can craft documents tailored to your specific situation.
Remember. A good attorney is your coach. We’re not here merely to give you a form, but to help you set up as manageable a to do list after you die as possible.