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Louisville 502-589-7616
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So you've got all of your estate documents in order, but can anyone find them?

While it's a good idea for both spouses in a household to participate in handling the finances, the reality is that usually one spouse deals with most of the money matters, from paying the bills to managing retirement accounts.

Unfortunately, a common issue that comes up in such a scenario is that, when the spouse who handled the finances passes away or becomes incapacitated, the other spouse isn't aware of and can't locate important estate assets. That is, unless you take the steps today to plan for this possibility tomorrow.

You may have multiple bank accounts, property titles, business operating agreements, retirement accounts, insurance policies and related beneficiary forms. All of these documents should be accounted for when your estate is valued and distributed. If your spouse and heirs can't find them, though, then the administration of the estate suddenly becomes highly problematic.

Of course, you can name an executor or personal representative of your estate, and this person should be told where your important documents are. Additionally, your will should clearly state your wishes and how you intend for property to be distributed. It is also a good idea to keep your spouse and family members informed about your estate planning decisions. Every family is different, but many people like to get feedback from loved ones before putting a plan down in writing.

If your life situation changes after you've worked with an attorney to draft a will and other estate planning documents, then you can revisit the plan and make any needed changes. The key is to make the plan, document it, and ensure that the right person can access it when the time comes.

The estate and wills attorneys of Landrum & Shouse LLP are prepared to help clients in Lexington, Louisville and throughout Kentucky meet their estate planning goals. To learn more about our areas of practice, please visit our estate planning and probate overview.

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