Protecting Your Estate in a Disaster
Often we think of the assets of our estate only in terms of what will happen after we die. But, a sudden tragedy or disaster could throw a wrench in your plans. Just like you would store first aid, batteries, and flashlights away for a potential storm, you should also be putting certain documents, policies, assets, and savings in a financial emergency kit. Below are some of the aspects you should consider in the event of a fire, hurricane, serious illness, job loss, or any other unforeseeable emergency.
- Get The Right Storage
From USB drives to fireproof safes, it is critical that your physical and digital documents are stored safely and in a way that is accessible to people other than you. Some ideas are lockable cabinets, laminating your will and estate planning documents, or keeping them in binders and folders.
You most likely have a digital estate as well. All of your hard copies should also be backed up onto encrypted USB drives or locked folders on computers as a safeguard. Make sure your beneficiaries or trusted loved ones know the passwords and the correct way to access digital assets.
- Access to Funds and Documents
You should set up an emergency fund that is accessible to your executor or your trusted family members. This would include funds for your family, which could be built in either bank savings accounts, checking accounts, or even short-term CDs.
It is also so important to have the most up-to-date documents and information in your estate plan. You’ll also be include your insurance policies, from health to business, to accident coverage, and even tax return documents. If these aren’t updated, it could mean headaches when trying to get back on your feet.
- Photo and Video Evidence
This is important for insurance loss. You should keep detailed photos of your property, assets, heirlooms, and any valuable possessions. Proving loss during a natural or financial disaster could be the difference between getting back to your old life, or having to start all over again.
- Create an Extensive Guide
The key to relieving headaches for the above issues is to have a packet of all of the locations of documents, any lock combinations or passcodes, and any procedures or guidelines that must be utilized after those assets are accessed. Other information you should consider adding is:
- Emergency contact information or phone numbers
- Bank and online account numbers
- Access to any apps or social media
- Physical addresses or attorney contact information
You should create multiple hard and digital copies of your guidelines, and make sure those you trust are aware of where the guide is located.
How an Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help
With fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes dominating the news every year, everyone should have a financial disaster plan. Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP will help you structure your estate so it is easily able to rebuild in the event of an emergency. Call our St. Petersburg offices today to start your plan, at 727-471-5868. You can also contact us online to schedule a consultation today.