All of the extra work that you put into organizing your estate planning could be derailed if your loved ones are unable to find these documents. Documents such as a last will and testament, an irrevocable trust, life insurance and retirement beneficiary forms should all be stored in a location where your executor or personal representative can easily find these details.
One of the first steps to be addressed with probate is the filing of your will, if one exists. If your loved ones cannot find your will, they might have to tear apart your house to confirm this before going to probate court. This hunt adds unnecessary pressure and searching during what might already be a difficult time. This is why it’s recommended that you create and store your will in a location that can be identified shortly after you pass away.
You will greatly increase the time period in which your loved ones can find these materials and begin to take action on them. After you pass away, your personal representative or executor may not know that you have appointed them in this role unless you have had an explicit conversation otherwise. They will need to gather important information, such as the death certificate and your will to bring it to the probate court for processing and the opening of your estate. It is important that they be able to find these materials in order to open that process. Make sure that you have stored these materials in a safe location and provided a copy with other professionals, such as your estate planning lawyer. This will decrease the possibility of delays or even allegations that the estate planning documents submitted by your executor or personal representative are not accurate. It is very easy to avoid these mistakes with appropriate planning and foresight.
Contact our Pasadena estate planning office today for support.