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Estate Process

Whether you are changing jobs or turning 50, sometimes it's easier to plan by life event. No one wants to think about their death, and the thought of dying unexpectedly is even more daunting. That's why every investor needs a professional will that spells out how you would like your estate to be handled in the event of your unexpected death or disability. Taking this step can help clients make a smooth transition.

Depending on your individual preferences, circumstances and state requirements, and there are many resources and documentations to help you achieve this, which include:

  • A Professional Executor: It's wise to select friends or family members. Name one or two backups as well, in case the primary executor is unavailable.

  • Contact Information: In the will, include the name, phone number and address of your executor and your backups. State that the executor has the authority to act on your behalf and to delegate responsibilities. Also provide contact information for your attorney and accountant.

  • Instructions for Contacting Beneficiary: Specify how you would like your beneficiary to be notified about your death-by mail or phone so they will know how to access your estate records if necessary.

  • Directions for Handling Your Estate: Create a clear plan for transferring and maintaining the confidentiality of client records, including forwarding charts to new providers and maintaining records as required by state law, says Ballard. Before transferring charts, your professional executor will need to obtain written consent from clients, he adds. Records that aren't transferred to new providers should be kept by your professional executor or an other qualified mental health professional for the length of time specified in your state.

  • Signatures and Copies: Although the professional will is not a legal document, sign it and have a witness sign it. Make multiple copies, stating where they are located and who is holding them. Finally, review your professional will once a year, and update it if your circumstances change, experts advise.