Law Offices of Terri D. Mason, P.C.


My Estate Plan is Signed, Now What?

state planning documents on a deskThe phrase “taken care of after you’re gone” refers to the proactive planning and actions you undertake to protect, preserve, and allocate your wealth and assets after your death. This planning often involves specifying your preferences regarding the distribution of your belongings, and nominating a trusted individual or organization to oversee and implement your desires in an estate plan.

Creating an estate plan is a typical way to achieve this. An estate plan is a comprehensive legal strategy that articulates your decisions about how your estate—comprising all your assets—will be managed and distributed after your death or if you become incapacitated. It may include various legal documents, such as a will, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.

Let’s explore the essential post-signing steps you should take to safeguard your interests and those of your family.

Organize and Safely Store Your Estate Planning Documents

Once you’ve signed your estate plan, it’s vital to keep all the documents safe and accessible. Your estate planning documents are crucial legal instruments, and their safety is paramount. Store them in a fireproof and waterproof safe, a bank safe deposit box, or a secure digital storage platform, if they are electronic documents. Have multiple copies of your estate planning documents. 

It provides an extra layer of security and makes it easier for you to share them with relevant parties. Make sure your trusted family members, friends, or confidants are aware of where these documents are stored. This ensures that they can access them easily when needed. Your estate planning documents are not limited to your will and trust. They should also include other important paperwork like:

Remember, regular reviews and updates are needed to ensure these documents reflect your current situation and wishes accurately.

Review and Update Your Plan Regularly

Creating your estate plan is a significant accomplishment, but it’s important to remember that estate planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time task. As your life evolves, so too should your estate plan. This is where regular reviews and updates come into play.

Regular reviews and updates of your estate plan can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind. By ensuring your plan stays in step with your life’s changes and legal updates, you maintain control over your legacy and how your assets will be managed and distributed. Estate planning is a living process, adapting to your life as it unfolds.

Communicate Your Plan with Relevant Parties

Clear and proactive communication helps foster understanding and can mitigate potential conflicts that might otherwise arise. Here’s how to make your communication more effective:

Transparent communication about your estate plan can prevent future disputes, clarify expectations, and ensure a smooth transition when the time comes. This step, though sometimes overlooked, is as crucial as the creation of the estate plan itself.

Review Beneficiary Designations

After signing your estate plan, it’s essential to review the beneficiary designations on your financial accounts, retirement plans, and insurance policies. Beneficiary designations generally take precedence over what’s stated in your will, so keeping them updated is vital to ensure your assets go to the right individuals.

Consult a Baltimore Estate Planning Lawyer

Congratulations on signing your estate plan! Taking this crucial step ensures your hard-earned assets and the well-being of your loved ones are protected. However, the journey doesn’t end here. Remember, estate planning is a dynamic process that requires regular reviews and updates to remain effective.

By organizing and safely storing your estate planning documents, communicating your plan with relevant parties, and considering disability planning, you can better safeguard your interests. Additionally, consulting specialized professionals like the Baltimore estate planning attorney, Terri D. Mason, can provide you with the guidance and expertise needed for a secure and seamless estate planning experience.

Investing in a comprehensive estate plan is an act of love and responsibility towards yourself and your family. So, take charge of your future today and create a legacy that will last for generations to come. Don’t wait—start planning your estate and securing your future now!