Having a comprehensive life plan serves several important purposes. From providing guidance for your medical care should you become incapacitated to directing the distribution of your assets after your death, a comprehensive life plan can protect both you and your family, and it can prevent many difficult circumstances.
However, in order for your life plan to do its job, your loved ones need to know that it exists. They also need to know where to find it and how to access it, and they need to be confident that it is up-to-date. With this in mind, here are five tips for storing your life plan:
5 Tips for Storing Your Life Plan
Tip #1: Store Your Life Plan in a Safe Place
First and foremost, store your life plan in a safe place. This could be a fireproof and waterproof safe in your home, a safe deposit box at your bank (if the correct precautions are taken), or your attorney’s office. Between these options, the choice is up to you—the key is simply to ensure that no one is able to gain unauthorized access and modify your life plan during your lifetime and that it is readily accessible upon your death or incapacity.
Tip #2: Make Sure Your Personal Representative Knows How to Access Your Life Plan
While you need to keep your life plan secure, you also need to make sure that your loved ones will be able to execute your life plan when the time comes. Minimally, this means letting your personal representative know where and how to access your plan. You may choose to tell your children and certain other loved ones as well. Depending on your comfort level, there are a number of options, from opening a joint safe deposit box to giving your attorney’s contact information to your personal representative.
Tip #3: Make Sure Your Health Care Surrogate, Agent, and Pre-Need Guardian Know Your Intentions
A comprehensive life plan will address various contingencies during your lifetime in addition to guiding the administration of your estate after your death. As a result, in addition to making sure your loved ones can access your life plan when necessary, it is also important to ensure that your health care surrogate, your agent (under your power of attorney) and your pre-need guardian are all aware of your intentions regarding medical care, financial management, and care for your minor children.
Tip #4: Work with Your Attorney to Make Any Necessary Modifications
If you choose to store your life plan at home or in a safe deposit box, you still need to work with your attorney to make any necessary modifications. When modifying a life plan, there are certain formalities that need to be observed, and any modifications you try to make on your own might not be legally-enforceable.
Tip #5: Destroy Any Outdated Versions of Your Life Plan
Finally, if you update your estate plan, do not keep the old version for posterity. Having multiple inconsistent life plans can create confusion for your loved ones. Instead, properly destroy it so that there is no question as to which version of your life plan controls.
Discuss Your Life Planning Needs with Florida Attorney Mark F. Moss
Do you have questions about preparing or storing your life plan? If so, we encourage you to contact us to learn more. To schedule a confidential initial consultation with Florida life planning attorney Mark F. Moss, call us at 904-329-7242 orinquire online today.