Many of us partake in annual spring cleaning as we shake off the shackles of winter and prepare for a fresh start. This time of year is also ideal to review your estate plan to ensure that it’s updated and organized.
“Cleaning up” your estate plan can involve taking the following steps:
1. Locate your Original Will and Inform your Executor
In order to administer most estates, the executor must obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (formerly called “probate”) . Obtaining a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee is the judicial process whereby the court certifies that the Will has been duly approved and registered. This process requires that the original Will, along with original Affidavits of Execution, are submitted to the court.
Since the original Will is key in administering most estates, a testator should store the document in a safe place and let their executor know where its stored and how they can access it.
2. Keep an Updated List of your Assets and Liabilities
Following a testator’s death, the executor has to determine the deceased’s assets and liabilities as of the date of death. Keeping a current list of assets and liabilities along with recent statements will make your executor’s job much easier during a difficult time.
3. Speak to your Executor about your Funeral Arrangements
Executors are responsible for arranging the funeral/memorial service and the disposition of the body. It can be difficult to speak about death, but having this conversation with your executor and informing them of your final wishes will alleviate any worry they may have about honouring your wishes.
4. Locate your original Powers of Attorney and Inform your Attorney
It is also important to review your incapacity plan which involves your Powers of Attorney for Property and Personal care.
These documents should also be stored safe place that can be accessed by your attorney. It could also be a good time to inform your attorney for personal care of your preferences and instructions regarding certain medical treatments in the event of your incapacity.
5. Review your Will
As life changes so to should your estate plan. Click here to see our previous blog on when you may consider updating your Will.
If you need to update your estate plan, or create one in the first place, reach out to George Street Law Group as we’d be happy to assist you. You can find our contact information here. We look forward to hearing from you!