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I Did My Estate Plan, Now What?


Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to move forward in completing your health care power of attorney, living will (for end of life decisions), financial power of attorney, Last Will & Testament, maybe a Trust and maybe a Nomination of Guardian (if you have minor or disabled children). You have taken a huge step in making the process to care for you while you are alive, and to distribute your assets on death, a lot easier.

So what now? Are you done?
Of course not! Here are some things to think about:

Include a listing of your accounts, IRAs, house addresses, and deeds if you have them, with your estate planning documents.  Be sure to update the information as things change.
Include a copy of the beneficiary designations for your IRA, 401(K) and life insurance policies with your estate planning documents.

Do the people you have named in the documents as your decision makers know they are named?
Tell your decision makers where they can find the documents and provide copies of your Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Wills to your Agents.

Do you have a safe deposit box? Does your Agent or Trustee know where the key is located and information about the box? Is it titled to the Trust or are there are other people with signing authority?
If you have a trust, have you retitled your non retirement accounts into the name of the Trust?
Did you complete a personal property memorandum or other document to distribute any special items of your personal effects (jewelry, furniture etc) to specific people?
Do you have someone named to care for your pets?
Does anyone have a key to your home in case of emergency?
Have you done any preplanning for your burial or cremation and if so, have you included a copy of those document with your estate planning documents? 
Do your decision makers know about your preplanned cremation or funeral?
Do you have a long term care insurance policy and does your health care Agent know about that policy and where to find information?
If you have minor or disabled children, write a letter to the child’s guardian about allergies, preferences, government benefit information and other important information.

Your estate planning documents give people authority to make decisions for you during your life and to protect and administer your estate when your gone.  Give them the tools to make that easier during a time that will undoubtedly be difficult. For more information check out our website at We have lots of information and resources.

Written by: Jennifer Kupiszewski, Esq.

The lawyer disclaimer: We hope you find this informative, but it is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney, who can review your specific situation and account for variations in state law and local practices. Laws and regulations are constantly changing, so the longer it has been since this was written, the greater the likelihood that the information might be out of date.

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