During times of uncertainty there are several effective measures we can employ to ease stress, from taking better physical care of ourselves to reducing our intake of (mostly negative) news. One of the most critical things we can do, however, is take control of what is in our purview – including the management of our estate, paper to platform to practice with estate management software as this allows us to feel more secure about both the present and the future. If the mere thought of a deep dive into your finances makes your blood pressure rise, here are some steps you can take to turn the best practices you’ve read about into reality.
Paper. This will no doubt be the most daunting part of the process, especially if you’ve been lax about managing your estate thus far. One of the most important, and the most neglected, aspects of one’s portfolio is the physical assets – not just vehicles and homes but all the items contained within, including things we don’t normally consider such as clothing, kitchen appliances, and ugly jewelry we’ve inherited from relatives. For example, you might have numerous Word documents or spreadsheets, stacks of paperwork you haven’t looked at in years or even decades, or – worse yet – a hodgepodge of sticky notes (i.e., on a box of possible treasures marked “Mother” or cryptic, barely legible entries in a ledger). As much as you dread going through them, knowing what you have and what it’s worth is crucial to protecting and growing your estate, as well as preparing to pass it to your heirs. The key to tackling this is to take it slow and methodically, one box or file at a time, but the time for procrastination is over.
Platform. The next step is to transfer this data to a digital tool – and by this we don’t mean clouds, but an all-in-one solution that combines aesthetics and functionality. You can create a virtual library of your assets, complete with photos, history of ownership, and current value, that is easily accessed at any time from your phone or tablet. Then, when an opportunity for investment or making a profitable sale arises, you can act on it more quickly and more efficiently without having to wade through paperwork or computer files.
Practice. Even the best record-keeping system or digital platform will be of little value if you don’t actually use it. As mentioned, the reason such tools are so effective is having the data at your fingertips 24/7, so checking and updating it should become as routine as scrolling through your social media feeds. Moreover, you can use the platform for the management of your household, from listing daily tasks to planning out the budget and logistics of events and renovations. Just as important, you can share this data with trusted parties such as your heirs, staff, and financial advisors, and chat with them securely using the messaging feature rather than via multiple texts, emails, or phone calls.
Bottom line: paper to platform to practice with estate management software, getting your estate in order will take some effort, but it is far outweighed by the benefits – not only with regard to regular management but in planning how you will leave it to your children and charitable organizations. All-in-one platforms empower you even further, with real-time knowledge to make decisions while maximizing your relationships with those on your team.