Creating an estate plan takes time, money and energy. After putting so much into it, you should feel confident that when the time comes, others can carry out your wishes properly. However, accessibility issues could prevent them from doing this.
No one can find your plan
Of course, you should keep your will and other important documents in a secure place, but it is crucial to let someone know where they are. Some places to store a signed hardcopy of your estate plan include:
- In a safe deposit box
- With your lawyer
- In a personal safe
- A locked filing cabinet
No matter where you decide to keep your estate plan, be sure to tell someone where it is. Tell your spouse, your lawyer or your best friend; someone you trust should know where to find these documents so they can get to them.
They can’t log in
Another accessibility issue happens when people know where to find the files but can’t get to them because of password or login restrictions.
To avoid this situation, you may want to create and maintain a list of your accounts with login information. This can include:
- Email addresses tied to the account
- Profile or user names
- Account numbers
- Answers to identity confirmation questions (e.g., your mother’s maiden name, etc.)
Just like your estate plan, it is crucial that you keep this information somewhere safe. And again, make sure someone knows this document exists and where to find it. Otherwise, it can be as if you never created it.
It’s taking too much time
Setbacks and delays can take a tremendous toll on your loved ones, not to mention the value and status of your estate. Taking steps to cut through some of the red tape and legal requirements of administering an estate can make it much easier for people to access your documents and any gifts you leave them.
For instance, if you keep your will in a safety deposit box, ensure someone else has a key. Otherwise, accessing it could require a court order, which takes time.
Keeping your estate plan safe is essential, but don’t overlook these accessibility issues. Utilizing these tips could make a complicated situation a little less stressful.