When you want to have the peace of mind that your estate and assets are distributed appropriately after your death, you should work with an estate planning attorney to coordinate the paperwork required. Estate planning attorneys will help you not only ensure that your family members and other loved ones are addressed as part of your estate plan, but that the service providers you work with are included as well. Here's a look at what you should know about making sure that your service accounts are settled.
Defining Service Providers
Service providers are those people that you deal with on a regular basis who perform a specific service for you. For example, if you have a gardener, a nutritionist or a housekeeper, those people would be considered service providers. In some cases, you may have outstanding accounts with some of these people at the time of your death.
You'll want to make sure that you have a plan in place to deal with these outstanding accounts as part of your estate plan. By including information about these accounts in the estate plan, your trustee or executor will know precisely how to handle them.
Identifying Your Service Providers
- Household – Household service providers include those people who are dealing with your household needs, like landscaping, water delivery, heating oil companies and even HVAC technician. Make sure your estate plan defines who all of these people are and where your trustee can find their most recent bills.
- Medical – Medical providers are important to include, particularly if you struggle with an illness of any kind before your death. If you have any standing appointments with a dentist, therapist, chiropractor or physician, make sure that all of that information is kept somewhere accessible and identified in the estate plan.
- Personal – Personal care services are often overlooked, but are important considerations. From your hairdresser to your daycare and your nutritionist, you'll want to be sure that all of these individuals are included in the documentation. Include information about not only who you're working with, but where to find their bills, how to stop automatic deductions, and any upcoming appointments.
You might think that family and friends will already know much of this. While that may be true, in the midst of grief, it can be especially difficult to recall information such as this. By proactively addressing your service providers as part of your estate plan, you'll eliminate the risk that something is overlooked. An estate planning attorney, like Cadwallader Law Offices, can help you get all of it in order.