Spring has arrived, and it’s time for long days spent outdoors in the nice weather – and time for some spring cleaning! Don’t stop with the carpeting and drapes – it’s time for a good spring cleaning of your estate plan, legal files and documents! Personal finance expert Suze Orman has some tips to get your files in order – our legal team has advice on how to spring clean your estate plan!
1. Review Your Estate Documents
Make sure nothing significant has changed that impacts your estate plan:
• Have there been any major life events such as a birth, death, divorce or wedding? Do you need to update your beneficiaries?
• Have you purchased a new home or car, sold or started a business, or made a new investment?
• Do you want to make any financial gifts?
• Is your executor still willing and able to handle your estate management?
Begin by gathering all your documents and sort them into six piles:
• Monthly Bills, Bank Statements, and Pay Stubs
• Investment Statements: pension updates, 401(k) statements, brokerage and fund statements
• Tax Returns and Supporting Documents
• Policy Documents and Deeds: insurance policies, home deed, car title
• Warranties and User Manuals
• Forever Documents: legal documents, birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, will, trust, estate planning documents, immigration documents, passports, adoption papers, death certificates, mortgage payoff statements etc.
3. Create Folders
Sort your documents into each folder, creating subfolders as necessary. Forever documents should be put in a fire and water-resistant home safe or file container – and not a safety deposit box, where you can’t easily access it.
For everything you’re throwing away in the trash, Suze advises that you SHRED to protect yourself from identity theft, which affects more than 9 million Americans every year.
5. Organize Digital Assets
Digital assets – social media, online subscriptions, cyber currency, online shopping accounts – are an important part of your daily life – and an important part of your estate plan! See our 5 Digital Asset Spring Cleaning Tips.
The experienced estate planning attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group have experience in creating or updating estate plans to fit each client’s personal circumstances. Please contact our office at 630-864-5835 to schedule a meeting with our experienced attorneys to spring clean your estate plan!
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties