Real Time Web Analytics

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What to do after your Will is signed

You've been to the lawyer's office and signed your crisp, new Will document. You've set up an estate plan and documented everything properly. Now what? There are a few things you might want to do:

1.  Store the original Will somewhere safe, i.e. fireproof, waterproof and snoop-proof. Many lawyers will store clients' Wills at no charge in their office vaults. Trust companies do the same for their customers. A bank safety deposit box is a popular choice. A home safe may also be used, but I don't recommend a drawer or filing cabinet unless it's fireproof and locked. Note that floor safes are fireproof but not always waterproof.

2.  Put all of your important documents together. Wherever you store your Will, consider also storing your Enduring Power of Attorney, birth certificates, marriage certificate, documents relating to any trusts that involve you, title to your house, insurance policies, passport, divorce papers, and business documents such as shareholder's agreement. As a side note, I don't recommend that Personal (health care) Directives be stored at the lawyer's office, trust company or bank because this may make them unavailable in a medical emergency.

3.  Tell your executor and alternate executor where the original Will has been stored.

4.  Decide whether you want to give anyone a copy of your Will. There is no rule that says you must share the contents of your Will with anyone, nor is there a rule that forbids it. It's up to you. Weigh the factors of privacy vs full disclosure.

5.  Make a list of your assets and liabilties. Include descriptions that state, for example, whether you bank at Scotia or CIBC, which insurance company insures your life and your house, and the full name of the company you work for. The list doesn't have to be fancy. Plenty of law firms feature a questionnaire on their websites; you could download and/or print one to use to create your list. Spending an hour or so making this list and occasionally updating it will one day save your executor countless hours of searching and guessing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails