When you are planning your estate you should consider practical details on a human level. You are going to be in possession of a number of very important and relevant documents. Access to these documents will be necessary for the individual who is administering your estate.
If you direct the distribution of your assets to your heirs through the utilization of a last will rather than a trust the person who must inventory and ultimately distribute these assets is the executor or personal representative. This person must be apprised of the location of everything that is relevant to the administration of the estate.
The executor will be guiding the estate through the process of probate. The assets that are considered to be probate assets are not distributed to the heirs until the process of probate has run its course.
If you own life insurance policies for the benefit of others the transfer of the proceeds is not subject to the probate process. However, you must make people with a “need to know” aware of the existence of these policies.
According to Consumer Reports a significant amount of insurance money sits around unclaimed. They place the figure at approximately $1 billion.
The best way to make sure that you are comprehensively prepared in every way is to devise your estate plan with the assistance of a licensed estate planning attorney. Your lawyer will ask you all of the right questions and see to it that you have made all the necessary information available to those who will need it after you are gone.