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Compiling documents within estate planning

The creation of a comprehensive estate plan leaves many in New Jersey with a sense of relief. Knowing that these matters have been settled brings peace of mind to both individuals and families. Once the process is complete, the final step is to compile estate planning paperwork such as trusts or wills, and to check that there are no additional documents that should be added to the mix.

For example, an essential but often overlooked inclusion should be a list that contains the personal information of all relevant parties. This includes the name, address, dates of birth, phone numbers and email addresses of all beneficiaries and designated representatives. This gives the individual(s) tasked with handling one's estate the information needed to contact these people when the time comes.

In addition, any supporting documentation for specific assets should be included in the same location as the primary estate planning paperwork. This includes any partnership and/or operating agreements, insurance policies, promissory notes and loan documents. Real estate documentation should also be included, such as deeds, insurance policies and title policies.

By compiling all of the paperwork necessary to settle an estate, individuals can make handling these matters far easier on those left behind. Often, one of the most difficult tasks that family members face is trying to track down various pieces of paperwork needed to carry out the instructions left within a will or trust. Many New Jersey residents also include personal letters to loved ones with their estate planning documents to ensure that these are distributed to the proper recipients when the time comes.

Source: The National Law Review, "Estate Planning Update--February 2015", Feb. 9, 2015

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