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9 Steps to Creating a Successful Estate Plan

9 Steps to Creating a Successful Estate Plan

An Estate Plan is a crucial part of every Will.

Below are 10 key steps to ensure your estate plan is successful:

1. Document Storage

Make sure to store your estate planning documents safely. If you have a safe deposit box, store your important papers there. Give your executor a copy of your estate planning documents and advise them on where the originals are stored.

2. Make copies of your Will and provide to your executor and beneficiaries

It is in your best interest to provide a copy of your will to beneficiaries. This reduces the possibility of confusion. It is unlikely you will ever change your will, but even if you do, providing a copy of your Will to your beneficiaries does not mean you can’t change it.

3. Inform your Power of Attorney

If you have power of attorney, they should be able to access your safe deposit box. It may be a good idea to have your attorney as a signatory on your safe deposit box. Additionally, keep one original Power of Attorney in your home so that your attorney can retrieve your documents.

4. Create a list of assets and liabilities

Parr Business Law can provide you with an estate planning checklist. Please contact us. Additionally, many financial institutions provide an estate planning checklist. Be sure to also include the names of your lawyer, accountant, and other contact people. Additionally, make sure your list of assets and liabilities is always readily accessible to your executor and your attorney.

5. Organize your paperwork

Keep your assets organized so you don’t waste your executor’s time. This can include having your life insurance contract and other documents readi

ly accessible and disposing of old and out-of-date documents.

6. Clarify distribution of assets while you’re alive

It is wise to circulate your list of assets amongst potential beneficiaries, especially children, to make sure that they actually want the gift. This way, disputes regarding who gets what are cleared up when you are alive. Disputes about seemingly innocuous objects can cause long-lasting family disagreements, and even end up in the courts. Additionally, settling disputes before your passing is immensely helpful to your beneficiaries and executor. The more you communicate while you are alive reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings after you are gone.

7. Provide your funeral wishes in writing

Provide your funeral wishes in writing, and give a copy to your executor. Do you wish to be cremated or buried? Do you want to have a service? If so, what type of service? Clarify as many details as possible.

8. Consolidate your finances

In order to simplify matters for your executor, it is a good idea to consolidate your financial accounts to one financial institution.If you are unable to do so, ensure that your executor is aware of the existence of all your accounts.

Consider hiring a financial planner or someone from a financial institution to handle your finances. The better they understand your overall financial situation, the easier it is to provide advice and direction. Additionally, financial planners are often the first to notice an impairment of mental capacity and although it is not a financial planner’s job to deal with incapacitated clients, they have a duty to ensure that your assets are protected. Depending on the severity of one’s mental decline, they are likely to contact your family, power of attorney, or public trustee.

Once many or all of these recommendations are implemented, you will have taken the proper steps to ensure your estate plan is properly fulfilled. For more information or guidance when creating your estate plan, call or text us today for a consultation at 604 283 8622 or send an email to

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