Updated: Feb 7
One part of planning your legacy and making your wishes known involves doing some digital and physical organizing. Do you have all your key legal documents in an easily accessible but secure place? Here's what to have on hand and what to keep in mind as you put your essential information in order.
We manage much of our lives through personal and financial records. Examples of these types of documents include your:
Social Security card
Bank account information
Investment and debt information
2. Beneficiary Designations
Keep clear documentation of your designated beneficiaries, the people you decide will inherit various assets. Select beneficiaries for all investment and bank accounts and your life insurance policy, and be sure to keep these named beneficiaries up to date.
Many people have been told that a will can cover everything from the real estate you own to small items of sentimental value. One thing a will can do for you is a guarantee that your family WILL go through probate which can be long and drawn out, not to mention pricey. Having the right type of Trust will not only save your loved ones from probate but protect your assets from lawsuits that are all to common in the society we live in.
4. Advance Directives
An advance directive enables your loved ones to make decisions when you are unable to do so yourself. Consider designating:
Health care proxy. A health care proxy can make medical decisions on your behalf.
Power of attorney. The person you give power of attorney can make financial choices on your behalf.
Some basic organization can help keep your legal documents in order.
Keep clearly labeled hard and digital copies of your important documents.