Estate planning is about as exciting as going to the dentist. But just like the upkeep of your teeth to prevent cavities, root canals, etc., keeping up your estate plan can help avoid bigger problems and conflicts later down the road.
Everyone should have a plan, no matter how much or little wealth you have. Furthermore, your life and circumstances will continue to change, and so should your plan. Get a check-up at least every few years!
Here are the five things you can do NOW to enhance your current plan:
1. Organize – Your plan won't be helpful to you or your family if no one can find it. Make sure you keep the originals in a fire-proof safe at home, and leave instructions for your Executor and Agent to be Power of Attorney.
2. Communicate – Surprises when a plan is needed is never fun. Talk to your Executor and Power of Attorney in advance
3. Supplement – Funeral instructions, last wishes, health care concerns – these are all things with which you can supplement your plan.
4. Consider an irrevocable burial reserve and make all of your last arrangements now – it will be one less step for your family
5. Electronic data – make a plan for your electronic data. Think of all of the "stuff" we have on our computer today. Photos, sensitive financial information, etc. What's your plan to ensure that your electronic data is handled the way you want it to be handled?