When it comes to estate planning, most people focus on the most well-known important documents. Wills, trusts, and powers of attorney all come to the top of the mind. While these documents are undoubtedly crucial, there is another essential element that often goes overlooked: maintaining a current photo identification.
Below, the trusted estate planning attorneys at the Lauenstein Law Firm explore the reasons why it’s important to maintain an up-to-date photo ID and how it can help facilitate a smooth estate administration process.
Current Photo IDs Serve as Verification of Identity
You may think that now that if you are no longer driving it is not necessary to maintain a current photo ID. However, one of the primary reasons for maintaining a current photo ID during estate planning is to ensure that your wishes are followed with proper verification of your identity.
When it comes time for your estate plan to be executed, whether due to incapacity or death, your loved ones and designated representatives may need to interact with various institutions, government agencies, and financial entities and these organizations are likely to require a valid photo ID to verify your identity and establish your legal authority. So even if you are no longer driving, it’s important to maintain an up-to-date photo ID so that the execution of your estate plan can run smoothly.
Managing Financial Transactions
Whether they be liquid cash, investments, or other assets it is very common in estate planning to have multiple financial accounts at varying financial institutions. With a current photo ID, you or someone entrusted with handling your estate can make financial transactions and gain access to these accounts seamlessly when it is necessary.
While you may think a financial power of attorney is all you need, these organizations often have strict protocols to protect against fraudulent activities and protect your assets.
This identification is especially crucial when dealing with the following:
- Brokerage firms
- Financial advisors
- Insurance companies
Having an updated photo ID readily available can help your family members or appointed representatives handle your financial affairs more efficiently and with less paperwork.
Real Estate and Property Management
Owning real estate or other valuable properties is a significant aspect of many estate plans. Whether you are looking to sell a property or manage it during your lifetime, a current photo ID is necessary for both legal and practical purposes as it enables you to establish ownership, negotiate contracts, and even serves as proof of identity during property transactions.
Additionally, if you have designated someone as your agent under a power of attorney, they will also need to present a valid photo ID when acting on your behalf.
Healthcare and Medical Decisions
Another critical area where a current photo ID comes into play is healthcare and medical decision-making. A designated healthcare proxy or power of attorney may be able to step in during situations where you are unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself. However, medical institutions and professionals will often require proper identification to ensure that the person making decisions on your behalf has the legal authority to do so.
By maintaining a current photo ID, you can help ensure that your wishes are respected.
Travel and Identification Purposes
A significant part of the estate planning process involves thinking ahead and considering future needs. While it may not be directly related to the execution of your estate plan, having a current photo ID is essential for identification purposes when it comes to travel. Whether you need to board a plane, stay in a hotel, or visit a government office, a valid identification document will be required. By proactively keeping your photo ID up to date, you avoid potential hassles and ensure smooth travel experiences.
While it’s natural to focus on legal documents when planning your estate, overlooking the importance of maintaining a current photo ID can lead to unnecessary complications and delays. Your photo ID serves as a crucial form of identification, enabling verification of your identity and facilitating various aspects of estate administration, financial transactions, property management, and healthcare decision-making. By prioritizing the maintenance of a valid photo ID, you help ensure that your loved ones and designated representatives can carry out your wishes efficiently and effectively.
Contact Douglas Lauenstein Today For Your Baltimore County Estate Planning Needs
Estate planning laws can vary by state, so it’s important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your area, such as the Baltimore County attorney Douglas Lauenstein. Our team of trusted experts will work with you to design an estate plan that is both comprehensive and suited to your individual needs. Douglas C. Lauenstein, a Baltimore County attorney with decades of experience, is here to help you. To learn more about our services and the estate planning process contact us to get in touch with an estate planning lawyer today.