Updating Your Plan With Care


Updating Your Plan With Care

Most of us aren’t living that immaculate “binder life,” where everything is in its place, and every important document is tabbed and color-coded. That’s the rare unicorn, the ideal we aspire to but seldom reach. Instead, we’re the everyday folks trying to navigate through life, hoping to leave our affairs in some semblance of order for our loved ones.

But let’s think about the reality for a moment. If something unexpected happens, how will your family fare sifting through 45 years of memories and “stuff” in your home? What’s significant, and where have you kept it? How would your loved ones even know if something crucial was missing?

If any of this resonates, please know that it’s never too late to start. Taking even small steps toward organizing your financial life can lift a weight off your shoulders and significantly ease the burden on your family, no matter what the future holds.

Here are a few simple tips and starting points to consider:
  • Document Round-Up: Gather all your essential documents—wills, deeds, insurance policies, and financial statements. Place them in a fireproof lockbox or safe.
  • The Binder System: Create a binder for your “final affairs” that includes not just your will and life insurance policies, but also your online account information, passwords, and any letters or instructions for loved ones.
  • Downsize and Digitize: Begin the process of paring down physical belongings. Digitize what you can, like photos and important papers, and consider a legacy gift of special items now, rather than leaving it all for later.
  • Tell Your Tales: Label significant items with their stories and why they matter. This can be a cathartic process for you and a treasure trove for your family.
  • A Living Document: Keep an inventory of your possessions, especially valuables, and update it regularly. Include where to find them and any pertinent information.
  • A Trusted Confidant: Designate a family member or friend to be knowledgeable about your estate plan and the whereabouts of your important documents and valuables.
  • Professional Help: Don’t shy away from asking for help. An estate planning attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring nothing is overlooked.

Remember, organizing your estate doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing task. Start with one drawer, one policy, or one account at a time. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re more prepared to pass on the torch is priceless.

Don’t forget to talk about any “sentimental items” with your family as you work on your estate plan.

If you need to update your estate plan which you created a few years ago, please reach out to us to get this done.

Call us at 724 841 1393 to schedule an appointment to update your Estate Plan.