Reconstructing Your Records and Estate Plan After a Hurricane
If you are one of the many people throughout Florida who have been affected by the destruction of Hurricane Irma, it’s important to take the time to get your records and estate plan back in order. For example, you might need tax records to prove your losses, or you could need to write a new will to account for changes in your estate’s assets.
The following are a few things to consider as you begin the record recovery process:
- Reconstructing tax records: You can get free tax return transcripts by using the IRS.gov Get Transcript tool. You may also order transcripts over the phone or by mail. To expedite processing, write the appropriate disaster designation (such as “HURRICANE IRMA”) in red letters across the top of Forms 4506-T and 4506. This will also allow you to bypass the typical fee for the service.
- Business records: To determine how much inventory you have lost, get copies of all invoices from your suppliers, dating back at least one calendar year. If you have any pictures you already had taken of buildings, equipment and inventory, be sure to collect them. Other helpful documents include bank statements, copies of previous tax returns and purchase agreements.
- Personal property: It can be quite difficult to gather records that demonstrate the fair market value (FMV) or certain types of personal property. With some, such as vehicles, you may have plenty of documentation. Other, smaller items can be more difficult to discern. Again, pictures can be very helpful. Otherwise, draw a floor plan that includes where each piece of furniture was located. Credit card records may also help show how much you paid for each item.
Estate plans: You may need to revisit your estate plan once you have a more accurate idea of the updated value of your estate and the assets in your possession. The disaster could have had an impact on what you can leave behind to your beneficiaries.
For more information and guidance on getting your estate in order after a natural disaster, contact a knowledgeable Tampa estate planning attorney with BaumannKangas Estate Law.