Brought to you by: Community Partner Bradford & Holliman
Have you recently read articles or books such as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? Instead of tidying your household items, let’s tidy up your legal papers.
Start by keeping your originals and copies of your estate plan in one place. Keep deeds, life insurance policies, and burial policies in the same place as well since your executor will need them, too. We have all heard of legal battles over which will of a famous, rich person is valid, and you do not need to cause that situation even if you are not famous and rich. Shredding is advisable. If you prefer to keep obsolete wills and powers of attorneys, clearly mark them as obsolete and what date new versions were created.
Don’t put your estate plan documents in a bank deposit box. Current copies should be distributed to your executor, agent for powers of attorney, and doctor for healthcare directives and DNR (do not resuscitate orders). Of course, review and update your estate plan if it is three to five years old, and review the designated personal representatives, agents, and executors to make sure they can still serve. If changes are made, contact these people, and give them copies. Collect the obsolete documents they have or ask them to shred them.
Veterans should carefully save their military service documents including their discharge papers. Some benefits for veterans and their families are dependent upon the specific times and places served. Saving these papers could make filing for benefits more successful later on.
Separately, keep a current file of medications, copy of healthcare directive, any DNR order, all doctors’ contact info, and all health and Medicare insurance cards in a handy place in case you cannot speak for yourself in a health crisis. Everyone in your household should be able to easily grab the file and follow the ambulance. Take this file to most doctor appointments so that your doctors can update their records. We cannot guarantee that this spring cleaning of legal documents will make you happier or bring you joy, but you will have more peace of mind that your affairs are in order.
Partner at Bradford & Holliman
Estate Planning, Trusts & Special Needs
No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of service performed by other lawyers.