The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and this definitely applies to the estate and will planning process. The problem is that an individual can create one of the best estate plans anyone has ever seen, but if his or her relatives and heirs are not very organized, they may lose track of all the important documents that comprise the estate plan and not be able to find them after their loved one has died.
This is where the “planning” comes into the estate plan. Sure, it is absolutely essential to create a well-designed will or trust. It is also essential to have a designated financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney. Further, you need to make sure that all the beneficiary information is properly filled on your individual retirement accounts and 401k accounts. However, if you do not have a responsible, highly organized person managing all the documents and details relating to your estate plan, all could be lost after you are gone.
This is where an estate planning attorney can help. Alternatively, select a very organized person who is close to you. Once you have identified the person you plan to use, give that person complete copies of all your estate planning documents. Give the person everything. Do not forget to leave copies of your bank account information, safety deposit box numbers with keys, internet log-in accounts and passwords, your will and your trust documentation. Give the person copies of everything.
Finally, instruct your family to seek out this person after you are gone. If it is an attorney, then the attorney may also have instructions to administer your estate and fulfill other important roles to help your family transition easily — in a way that is free of stress with everything handled — just as if you were still there.
Source: Finances.com, “The Single Most Important — And Unconventional — Estate Planning Tip You Will Ever Get,” Charles Sizemore, March. 19, 2015