Documents that you can keep in a digital format
- Current net worth statement. This lists all of your assets and liabilities and what they’re worth. You could even include how various assets are titled. A net worth statement can be a big help in the process of getting organized, reveal the true scope of your estate, and provide your advisors with a very useful tool as they work to put together a customized plan for you. It can also save your successors significant work in figuring out all that you have. Keep this document updated so that it reflects current information about all of your accounts, real estate, liabilities, and other items.
- List of professional advisors. Includes contact information for important advisors, such as a financial advisor, attorney, CPA, insurance agents, and doctors.
- Medical condition record. This is an informal way to let your trusted agent know about your health status when there’s a need.
- A guide to these documents (both physical and digital). Those you’ll leave behind will appreciate a simple catalog of all the estate-planning documents you’ve prepared and their locations so they can find them without hassle.
“This list is a good place to start, especially for those who haven’t prepared any estate-planning documents at all,” Padberg says. “But remember that each plan is different, and there certainly could be a need for other items, especially as the level of planning gets more sophisticated.”
With the assistance of a financial advisor and estate-planning attorney, you can get a basic estate plan put in place, and, as appropriate, discuss other strategies for preserving wealth. A Wells Fargo Advisors financial advisor can talk you through options that can save you time and money when you sit down with an attorney.
One final important tip: Set a time on your calendar for a regular review to keep all these documents up to date.