Texans who are thinking about starting the new year by cobbling together their estate planning documents should make certain they take the necessary steps to ensure that its strategies suit their needs. One method that might sound unnerving is known as “death cleaning.” The truth is that death cleaning is a wise maneuver to make certain that the person’s estate is free of complications and is simplified as much as possible. This is a beneficial decision for people young and old. Knowing what to do to make it a reality is crucial.
Consolidation of financial accounts is a wise step. The more accounts a person has, the more likely he or she is to be victimized by attempts on the part of unscrupulous entities to commit fraud. For example, transferring retirement plans into a single account can make the portfolio simpler. Bank accounts can be put into a single account. Other factors with this are important such as FDIC insurance limits. Automating payments for bills can avoid late payments, late fees and damage to credit scores. This can keep the estate free of unexpected payments after the testator has died and leave more for the heirs.
Having a trustworthy person for important decisions if the testator becomes incapacitated is smart. A power of attorney should be crafted. There can even be two durable powers of attorney with one for health care and the other for finances. Different people can be named and backups are advisable. Organizing necessary documents such as wills and living trusts, medical directives, living wills, powers of attorney, financial information, and anything else that will likely be important, so it must be planned for and kept in a place where it can be easily found.
One essential when considering how best to move forward with drafting estate planning documents is to cover all the necessary bases that apply to the individual situation. Having legal advice from the start is one of the most important decisions to make. A lawyer who understands the details of all forms of estate planning is key.
Source: usatoday.com, “Estate planning: How to ‘death clean’ your finances,” Liz Weston, Dec. 29, 2017