Creating an estate plan is something that many people fail to do, which can create many problems when it comes time to go through probate or distribute assets. If family members disagree, or a person becomes incapacitated without having a valid power of attorney, court costs can skyrocket while your loved ones try to resolve legal issues and conflict. If you have already completed the step of having an estate plan, and it is up-to-date, the next step is to make sure your loved ones can find the necessary documents in event of incapacity or death. It is important to have powers of attorney accessible, and the original will to file with the court. If there is a copy of a will, or if a will doesn’t have valid and legal changes, it may not be accepted by the probate court. If there are not of powers of attorney available, and you become incapacitated, someone may need to be appointed by the court as guardian or conservator. This person may not be who you would choose to handle your financial, and possibly medical, decisions. To avoid these complications, be sure your estate plan is complete and up-to-date. Next be sure your estate planning documents are in a safe place where your named agents and beneficiaries know where to find them. Many people keep their documents in a fireproof safe, lock box, or safety deposit box at their bank. Making copies of the powers of attorney and providing each agent with a copy can also be helpful. Whatever method you choose to use, having your documents accessible to those you choose as your agents and personal representatives is important to avoid complicated and expensive court proceedings. If you would like a review of your current estate plan to ensure it is up-to-date, or if you would like to schedule a free, one-hour, initial consultation to start the process of creating an estate plan, call our office at 303-407-1542.