It’s important for people to take certain steps to ensure their assets are protected and their wishes are followed after their death. Not only that, but you have to make sure your instructions are carried out as smoothly as possible, so it doesn’t leave extra frustration for grieving family members. In addition to writing an estate plan, you have to let others know about your preferences so they can understand your wishes and make sure they are carried out in the manner you want.

You can begin writing your estate plan by itemizing inventory. Go through the interior and exterior of your home, and write a list of valuable and sentimental items. These can be things like your home, vehicles, tvs, jewelry, art collections, antiques, lawn equipment, computers, technology, power tools, and more. This list is probably going to be much longer than you anticipated, however, try not to get overwhelmed. Remember that the task of establishing your estate plan can feel weird at times, as you are essentially planning for a time when you are no longer here, which in itself can stir up all kinds of feelings. But if you have a legal team to guide you through, such as an estate lawyer Fort Collins, CO, the task can be made all that much easier on you according to W.B. Moore Law.

Once you have gone through your physical assets, you can write a list of your intangible ones. These are items such as 401k plans, bank accounts, IRAs, life insurance policies, and health insurance. Get copies of these documents and keep them in a safe place that can be found by your executor after your passing. The executor is someone you appoint to handle the distribution of your assets once you have passed on, so being able to locate your estate plan documents quickly will be imperative. You don’t want to leave your executor unsure about how to find this information, so you may want to inform them about where you are keeping them so they can be referenced in the future.

After your tangible and intangible assets have been listed, located, and paperwork organized, you’ll want to move onto assembling your list of debts. This list is for credit cards or other debt obligations that you currently hold. These can be debts related to mortgages, loans, home equity lines of credit, and more. Write down the account numbers, locations of any agreements you signed, and contact details for the companies that you have the debt with.

Once your assets and debts have been properly organized, you then should make copies of your lists and sign them. The original can be given to your estate administrator, the second can be provided to your spouse or partner, and the last copy in a safe place just for your records. As a lawyer knows, estate planning may not be the funnest task, but it’s going to matter later in how your legacy is handled and distributed to those you love the most.