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Estate planning can be enhanced by protective measures

Acts of nature have been particularly brutal in California and other states this year. These horrific traumatic occurrences have resulted in the substantial loss of life and property. From the financial perspective, there are some general estate planning measures that people can take to protect themselves from these types of devastating tragedies.

One protection involves reviewing all insurance policies, and especially those applying to the real estate. Most people have homeowners' insurance policies, but the depth and amount of coverage may be lacking. It is important to obtain the maximum "replacement cost" amount of coverage that is allowed. Rebuilding costs can often exceed an average coverage range listed in the homeowners' policy.                                      

With respect to insurance, one should assure that flood and earthquake coverage are included if they are relevant dangers that are faced by the homeowner. If one's insurer cannot provide the higher coverage, switch to a better provider. Everyone should also know how to scan in documents into one's laptop or computer and to save the docs to the cloud. Services like Drop Box, One Drive, Google Drive, and Apple's iCloud provide storage space on the cloud.

Video content can also be stored in the cloud. This can be created with respect to one's  home belongings by recording the home's possessions with one's smartphone. It is also important to safeguard one's online documents by using a password manager.

These will help you remember only one master password while at the same time making access available on a more secure basis. Because California is clearly one of the areas where a family may be more vulnerable to losing important estate planning documents due to disastrous occurrences, developing a program for cloud storage can be a critically important protective measure. In addition, the hard copy documents can be put into secure physical storage in another site separate from the personal residence or office now being used.

Source: The Washington Post, "Liz Weston: 4 Steps to Disaster-Proof Your Finances", Liz Weston, Nov. 6, 2017

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