Documents to Have Readily Available as You Implement an Estate Plan

For nearly everyone involved in the implementation of an estate plan, the end goal is ultimately to have the process run smoothly and efficiently. Unfortunately, there are many hiccups that can arise, ultimately delaying the settlement of the estate. Trustees and personal representatives can take many steps in order to reduce the delays during the proceedings. One such step is to ensure that certain key documents are on hand and readily available.

Five Documents That Will Help to Expedite the Process

As you prepare to administer your loved one’s trust or estate, consider keeping the following documents close by throughout the proceedings:

  1. Certified copies of your Letters of Administration if the estate involves probate proceedings. These Letters are necessary to access certain assets of your loved one.
  2. Certified copies of the death certificate for your loved one. If your loved one passed away in Orange County, the certificate can be obtained from the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s Office. To prove that your loved one has passed, many institutions will want a copy of the death certificate. Having them on hand eliminates the time that it takes to order new ones.
  3. The original and multiple copies of the trust. There are many times during the administration of the estate that you may need to provide third parties with copies of this document.
  4. A copy of your loved one’s last tax return. This information is often very useful for preparing the remaining tax returns as well as identifying your loved one’s assets and how they were held.
  5. A copy of your loved one’s tax return for his trust, if any were filed in the past.

When it comes to implementing an estate plan, tips like these can make the difference between a smooth process and one that is filled with setbacks. If you found this information useful, we encourage you to sign up for our free newsletter, which provides even more information for clients who are creating, modifying, and administering estates. And if you need assistance with an estate-planning matter, please contact our office to find out how we can help.