Estate Planning & Administrators

Being retired and 71, FOUNDATION is great to track all my accounts and keep things together in one place. Allowing my spouse and kids access to what is in our estate. We have a living trust and wills. The challenge is keeping track of ownership, beneficiaries and terms of accounts. This would allow me to make sure (remember) how assets are held and how to avoid probate. This would also be very helpful to my heirs as well. I can add sheets and links then create my own document, but I would like to know is anyone has embarked on such a project?

Last year, my wife and I worked with an estate planning attorney to create our revocable trust, wills, health care directive, etc. Our attorney created a hard copy binder and a digital copy with all of the account information that you mentioned.

In addition to these documents, I took the additional step of organizing our financial accounts and passwords in a password manager app. I switched from LastPass to 1Password. My estate instructions include information on how to recover the master password for the password manager app.

You could create additional columns on your account tab to add this additional information. For example, you could create a column for the account owner, beneficiary, how it is to be split, etc… but in my opinion it’s best kept in the estate document.

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Great feedback here @brettanicus and this is a good question @tjones4852

You can definitely add more sheets/tabs to your spreadsheet to help you keep track of this info, but I think @brettanicus’s advice here is good because it’ll be important to make sure the legal side of things is also handled/well documented.

I too have an estate plan with all the documents as you suggest. However, since holdings change and are in FOUNDATION, I want to document them at the same for estate purposes. My administrator will appreciate not search through a bunch of files.

I attempted to create additional columns in ACCOUNTS however I found hidden data in columns E:R which have no apparent relevance to the rows in which they are in. I don’t know how this hidden data is used or updated.

My concern: if I add my columns beginning at S, the first empty column, and hiding E:R, will I affect or compromise the data in E:R?

Just another community member here, but the hidden columns typically support other functionality in the foundational sheets/tabs and other community solutions. For Accounts, it looks like these columns pull useful data from the Balance History tab and, if you are not using the latest foundation template, you’ll also have Sheet References that feed other formulas. So, I typically leave those ranges alone and do not add content to the right of hidden ranges. However, you can add your columns in range A:E, as I did by adding Owner, without causing problems.

see fine print for possible side effects

It will change the column number/address of the hidden columns. Most formulas dynamically update to accommodate that. Unfortunately, sometimes people hardcode the column address in their formulas rather than using a dynamic lookup for column names, so then you have to troubleshoot it and manually change the column reference in their formula.

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I use the latest Foundation. Verifying your comment, you are suggesting I INSERT my columns BEFORE the hidden cells NOT after them in order to properly protect the hidden data???

Yes. I recommend adding the columns BEFORE the hidden cells.

Inserting before hidden blew up Excel net worth tracker

I think inserting columns AFTER the hidden columns should be fine @tjones4852 then just hide everything in the middle.

Sorry to hear that, Terry. My last bit of advice: Listen to Heather! :slightly_smiling_face:

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No problem. I will survive.

Did you manage to get it working, @tjones4852?

Yes, I converted table back to range