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Keeping track of estate planning documents

California residents who are planning their estate may be worried about how their loved ones will be able to handle their finances after they die. Although a person might create a detailed and well-structured estate plan, it will be up to their beneficiaries to see that the plan is implemented. If loved ones become overwhelmed at the thought of financial planning, managing an estate could cause them unnecessary stress.

According to one financial analyst, developing an estate plan is just as much about managing people as it is about creating the proper legal documents. Whether it is the husband or the wife, there is usually one spouse in a marriage who tends to handle the finances. If that spouse dies first, the other spouse might not be prepared to locate and manage life insurance policies, IRA accounts and other financial assets.

A person who is unsure whether their spouse or family members would be able to manage their estate after they pass might want to enlist the help of an estate planning attorney. By assigning an attorney the responsibility of managing their estate, a person can be assured that their loved ones will know exactly what to do in the event of their death.

When estate administration is handled by an attorney, a person's loved ones will only need to remember where to find the attorney's contact information after the person dies. Legal counsel can then guide the spouse or other family members through the process of collecting life insurance and IRA benefits, locating business checking accounts, disbursing college funds and ensuring that important bills are timely taken care of.

Source: Forbes Magazine, "The Single Most Important -- And Unconventional -- Estate Planning Tip You Will Ever Get", Charles Sizemore, March 19, 2015

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