Your Estate Plan Will Work Only if You Tie Up the Loose Ends

November 11, 2008

Filed under: Estate Planning — Tags: , — Alexis @ 2:45 PM

Have you set up your estate plan?  You signed your will, trust, special needs trust, durable power of attorney, health care proxy, stand-by guardianship for your minor children – it’s a lot of work, congratulations!

One last task before you are done – you MUST remember to change beneficiary listings on your various assets if you want your estate plan to work.  If, for example, your plan depends on directing your CD’s into a special needs trust for your disabled child, then you must contact your bank to complete the paperwork that will change the beneficiary listing.  Other assets with beneficiary listings include 401(k)’s, IRA’s, and life insurance policies.  

Your lawyer should have provided you with a letter of instructions detailing what assets you will need to tend to.  Follow those instructions carefully.  If you can’t find it, call her and she will remind you of the steps you need to take. 

You paid a lot of money for your estate plan, now just finish the job and make sure it works.