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An estate planning checklist

If you are a diligent reader of this column, then you will already be aware of the importance of having a valid will. However there are other things that you should do to make the lives of your executors and beneficiaries a lot easier. We have put together a checklist of some things that you ought to do before you die – an “if I kick the bucket then…” list so to speak. The checklist should be kept in a safe place identifying where the original will and enduring power of attorney are kept. The list should include either a copy of the will or at least mention the date on which it is signed. The checklist should include:
• Accounts and Investments
The BSB and account numbers for any accounts or credit cards you have as well as the details of any shareholdings and real estate.
• Insurance
Include sufficient details of policies such as the policy number and type of insurance.
• Motor vehicles
The registration number and VIN.
• Advisers
If you have an accountant, financial planner, lawyer or other professional advisor include their contact details. If you have a business include details of where the company records are kept.
• Important documents
If important documents (such as certificates of title), valuables or personal items are being held in safe custody elsewhere you should identify the location.
• Your digital life
Include all your email login in details and loyalty scheme account details. This includes your membership to social media and cloud data sites so your executors and family may be able to access your on-line data, including books or music files.
• Direct Debits
If you have any direct debits in place you should include details so that they can be cancelled pending a grant of probate.
• Superannuation
Your most recent superannuation statement(s) should also be included. If it is self managed super, the deed and financial statement should be included.
• And lastly, tell your executors
Make sure your executors know where the list is!
If you follow these steps, it will make the job of your executor far easier. You would be surprised by the amount of time and money that can be saved when an executor does not need to spend weeks searching through your belongings and paperwork trying to figure out the details of your life.

Stephen Bourke is a director in the boutique firm, Certus Law, specialising in superannuation, trusts and estate planning. He also consults to other practitioners through the consulting practice, SuperSplitting. Level 5, 28 University Avenue T: 6268 9090www.certuslaw.com.au
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