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How can I help my executor to best handle my estate?

You can help your executor handle your estate by keeping the original Will, deeds, partnership documents, insurance policies, and other important papers in an agreed-upon location, preferably with your attorney. It is also critical to keep copies of all of these documents. To the extent possible you can title certain property jointly and ensuring that beneficiary designations on non-probate assets such as pensions, retirement accounts, and insurance policies are updated and correct. For personal possessions with great sentimental value, it is also important to instruct your Executor how to distribute them.

To make sure that all of your estate information is accurate and up-to-date, it is also helpful to keep track of your estate electronically and to provide information to your Executor regarding your online presence on sites such as Facebook, Paypal, eBay, etc. or if you have a cryptocurrency account.

Your executor should also know the other relevant professionals in your life, such as your accountant and attorney. Upon your passing, such professionals might have further information to make your Executor's job easier.

Finally, if you have preferences regarding ceremonies or memorials, these should be in writing and signed. Whether your prefer a large wake, a small memorial service, or if there are certain charities that you want to support after all of your beneficiaries die, these wishes should all be in writing and signed to make your Executor’s job easier.

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