Newman Law Group

A checklist can help with estate administration

Many people hold to the philosophy that it is easier to manage a task when it is broken down into manageable chunks. An estate administration checklist can serve the task of helping a person break down the larger task of estate planning into tasks that are more readily achieved. A person can choose not to be overwhelmed by estate planning once he or she is familiar with all the parts, and additionally may choose to reach out for help. Persons in California who are considering how to manage their estate may benefit from the following information. 

Sometimes, the very first step is just to gather all the information. Some people have called this step in estate planning the "master directory." It means writing down all the information that could be relevant to a person's estate -- assets, liabilities, accounts, passwords and more. Another simple task that many folks already have handled is the designation of beneficiaries. After that, some people consider drafting a will, and if a person has minor children, it is appropriate to consider naming guardians for those children.

Another concern for people with minor children is to name a custodian for any assets that minor children might inherit in the event of a person's death. Then a person might move on to medical concerns, such as choosing a power of attorney for medical and financial matters. Creating a living will can help a person lay out his or her specify wishes for medical treatments in the event that he or she becomes too ill to communicate them. Some people also choose to create a trust, especially if they have certain conditions like high-value assets or children with special needs. 

Estate administration can be managed if a person just takes it step by step. In California, people with questions about estate administration may also wish to secure legal help. An estate administration attorney can provide guidance through the estate planning process and help a person draft the needed documents. 

Source: news.morningstar.com, "An Estate Planning Checklist," Christine Benz, July 27, 2017

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