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Does your estate planning package include these items?

8/6/2015 | Kaplin Stewart Blog

When reviewing one’s estate plan, it is easy to overlook items that can make a big difference to loved ones. While most Pennsylvania residents who go through the estate planning process are able to take advantage of the more common documents and tools to craft their plan, many will leave out important items. The following are just some of the less obvious estate planning components that are available.

One very basic form that can make it far easier for loved ones to sort out one’s affairs is a list of all assets and where those assets are located. By having the ability to access a list of assets, the individual(s) who will handle one’s estate can be assured that there are no items of significance that are being left out. This can also help reduce the risk of one’s will being challenged in court, because all heirs will have the ability to see the full range of assets and will know that everything has been included.

Another commonly overlooked estate planning addition is personal correspondence with the friends and family who are left behind. Writing personal letters can help loved ones move through the grief process, and can add a very heartfelt touch to the often dry and impersonal documents that define an estate plan. In addition, an individual can include his or her reasoning for various inheritance choices within these letters, which can make it easier for heirs to accept those choices.

When considering one’s estate planning package, many Pennsylvania residents could benefit from adding the two elements discussed above. One of the best things about estate planning is the flexibility that is available. There is a planning solution available for virtually any set of needs, and it is possible to customize a package that covers every aspect of the estate planning process.

Source:, “Review your estate plan against this 14-point checklist“, Art Koff, July 20, 2015