We know that there are different types of estate planning designed to protect our assets and direct how to distribute or utilize them. Once that is in place, does your fiduciary, whom you have selected to administer the plan (such as the personal representative of your estate, trustee of your trust, or power of attorney) know what all of those assets are and where to look when it’s time for them to act?
In addition, many assets are separate from our estate or trusts because they already have beneficiaries designated in the contract or policy (such as life insurance or 401k plan). Do those beneficiaries know where to look or whom to contact in the event the money holder (e.g. the life insurance company) can no longer locate them to distribute funds?
This is an important part of your estate plan review that may even involve sitting down with your future fiduciary, family or otherwise to discuss inventory and ensure the plan is administered smoothly. If the estate or trust inventory is not updated periodically, some assets may be inadvertently missed. As a result, many estates (for example) reopen after being closed when unknown assets are later discovered. This can lead to unnecessary administrative costs or legal fees.
So, for those needing to ensure an organized inventory or schedule of assets is provided with their estate plan, now is the time to start; and I can help! As always, I am available for a free consultation.