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Don’t Leave a Scavenger Hunt

 A scavenger hunt is a fun game for children to play, searching for a list of various items, like toys or treats. As an adult, it is less enjoyable to participate in a scavenger hunt, especially when you are searching for asset information. As hard as we may try to keep our lives organized, it can be a challenge to keep all our belongings in one place. With the help of an estate planning professional, you can help your loved ones avoid an unnecessary scavenger hunt.

To prevent your family and loved ones from having to undergo this potentially lengthy search, an estate planning attorney can assist you in gathering all your information and keep it organized. Part of this process consists of collecting information on what you own and where they are located. These assets include bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, annuities, and even the properties you own. Doing this while you are alive and well can help you and your loved ones. It helps you by giving you a clear picture of what you own, gives you an opportunity to review beneficiaries, if you should consider different kinds of policies as you age, and so on. Then, it can help your loved ones because they wouldn’t have to search through your piles of paperwork for statements, call financial institutions to see if the paperwork they found was for assets that were still current, or navigate the claims process alone. By you working with an attorney, you can stay organized, and your loved ones can have a clear list of what you owned at the time of your death.

Estate planning attorneys can also help make sure those assets are properly funded. This is done by either changing ownership title to your trust or re-naming beneficiaries. By doing so, the assets benefit who you choose after you are gone. After all your assets are accounted for, and all proper funding has been verified, it is important to keep your asset list updated. For example, if you were to open a new bank account, or sell a piece of property, it is advised to inform your estate planning attorney of the change. This way the list of what you own is updated and no search need take place.

To learn more about how to prevent a paperwork scavenger hunt, contact our office to schedule a complimentary initial consultation, (248) 409-0256.