The hard part is over—you have taken the time and effort to put together a Texas estate plan that works for you and your loved ones. Great job! But there are still important things to get organized that will help down the line beyond your paperwork. Increasingly, individuals are spreading out their assets and other accounts and this diversified trend can cause a lot of guesswork and even missed money for your loved ones upon your passing.
Here’s a look at three things you should do after you make a will…
- Passwords and other accounts: You likely have a big digital presence and without the passwords or added access to your accounts, your beneficiaries are going to have a tough time accessing everything from your money to social media pages. Put together a comprehensive list of all your accounts as well as their corresponding passwords—and of course keep this confidential, secure and up to date. Your list of accounts should include everything from emails to retirement accounts and everything in between. For a lot of your accounts, you can add another contact to the account (i.e. a bank account) which makes taking it over and access much easier.
- Funeral instructions and plans: Buried or cremated? Ceremony or nothing? Putting together your funeral plans and desires can save a lot of guesswork for others down the line. It can also help avoid fights between family members and friends that have competing visions for celebrating your life. Some go as far as picking and paying for a burial plot which also helps ensure that no money is coming out of the estate to cover this part of the process.
- Conversations: Your will and ultimate wishes should not be a surprise to the people around you and these conversations do not need to be sad, just informative. Have the important conversations now with the people that will take on important things in your life, especially if it involves minor children and important medical decisions. Give copies of your will and other important pieces of information as well as have conversations about your wishes and various bequeaths.
Estate is not a one-time process and your estate is not limited to the legal papers you put together. If there is something of importance, it should be accounted for and discussed and of course any time there are changes made, be sure to update the people around you. Working with an experienced Texas estate planning lawyer can help you put together the best plan for you and your estate and also make sure that the extra details like account passwords are also organized and passed along.