This week, we’ve been discussing those documents essential to any comprehensive estate plan. We’ve discussed the importance of having a will as well as designating beneficiaries. We’ve also provided information related to the importance of establishing a living will and naming a durable power of attorney. Once an individual has taken the time to contemplate these issues and set up the corresponding directives, it’s wise to ensure such information is organized, updated and readily accessible.

In the wake of a loved one’s passing, family members are often overcome by grief and sorrow. In some cases, family members are left to deal not only with feelings of sadness over the loss of a loved one, but also frustration when attempting to discover and gain access to a decedent’s financial documents and account information.

To make the process of sorting out estate matters as easy as possible, individual’s would be wise to ensure important documents are organized and in one place. Due to the personal nature of these documents, it’s wise to store information related to their existence and how to access in a safety deposit box or safe.

In addition to more traditional assets and accounts, individuals would be wise to keep track of digital assets such as online accounts and even social media accounts. Ensuring a comprehensive list of all personal accounts with login and password information exists can save loved ones time, money and grief.

In the last week, we’ve provided advice on the basic components of an estate plan. For New York residents wishing to get started, it’s wise to consult with an estate planning attorney. A legal professional who handles estate planning matters can answer questions and provide advice and assistance to ensure an individual’s personal and financial goals are carried out.

Source: Consumer Reports, “How to create a bulletproof estate plan: We’ve broken down this seemingly daunting task into 7 steps,” Nov. 2013