The Coronavirus pandemic was a shock for many and an eye-opener to say the least. Many are returning to their wills and getting their affairs in order, ranging from business succession to portfolio management, financial planning, and more. Legacy and estate planning has become a concern throughout the world.
Many are having trouble understanding what they need to do and the factors that need to be considered. Here, we will discuss a basic checklist that you need to keep in mind to protect your family and business after you pass away.
Legacy Planning Checklist – 9 Steps to a Secure Legacy
Step 1. Gather Documents
It all starts with gathering the right documents at the right place. This may include property deeds, share certificates (in your portfolio), titles, certificates (including marriage and birth certificates), and more. Try to include contact information of your personal doctor, attorney and brokers as well. Make sure you place these documents in a place where your family can find them easily.
Step 2. Make a Will
A will is perhaps one of the most important documents that you can include in your legacy plan. Click here to learn more about the importance of a will.
Step 3. Give Someone the Power of Attorney
By giving someone the power of attorney, you are basically allowing them to make important decisions on your behalf, should something happen to you. This also includes if you’re alive but are no longer of sound mind, i.e., aren’t able to make sound decisions.
Step 4. Living Trust
A living trust is a great way to make sure your estate planning ventures remain smooth. Trusts don’t need to go to court to be distributed, but wills may, should anyone contest them. Furthermore, via a living trust, your family doesn’t have to pay estate taxes either, not to mention your affairs remain private.
Step 5. Revisit Your Beneficiary List
From life insurance to retirement accounts, pension or even property, revisit these affairs to see who you’ve listed as a beneficiary and make sure the list is up to date. Remember, just because you mentioned their name in your will doesn’t mean companies will follow the same unless specifically mentioned.
Step 6. Make a List of Your Digital Assets & Secure Them
Your online bank, any cryptocurrency you’ve bought, investments, shopping accounts and more should be revisited. Make a list of all your accounts and upload/store it in a secure place for your family to find.
Step 7. Make Final Arrangements
This aspect can include what happens to your body, e.g., organ donation and funeral plans, all the way to any pay-on-death bank accounts. We recommend you not include this in your will.
Step 8. Have a Little Chat With Your Loved Ones
This might not be the easiest conversation to have, but it is essential none the less. Make sure you tell them where you’ve stored everything and clear any confusion they may have.
Step 9. Storing Everything Safely
There’s an option of keeping your documents safe under your mattress or in a cupboard, but we recommend storing it online. Legacy Armour vaults are a great way to ensure your legacy remains secure while you live and is passed on to the right person(s) when you pass away.