Now that a new year is beginning, it is a good time to make sure your financial house is in order. We should all take a few minutes to go over the things that are not discussed a lot, but are extremely important. Including the following:
Last Will and Testament – Many people simply do not bother to make a will. My brother passed away in May 2017, without a will. It caused a lot of heartache and frustration for my family. Not having a will can make a bad situation worse. This can be easily avoided by setting aside a few hours with a competent attorney.
Life Insurance – Make sure the beneficiaries are all up to date and make sure the beneficiaries know where to go for help to file a claim. We had a family member pass away years ago, however we could not locate the life insurance policies or car titles. We knew they had a safety deposit box, but could not find the keys.
Powers of Attorney – If needed, make sure you have both Medical and Financial Power of Attorney paperwork done. Also, make sure whoever you name knows how to activate these documents if they can only be triggered by an event (i.e. Incapacitation, etc.)
POD and TOD- Payable on death is for bank accounts and Transfer on death is for stock accounts. Using these documents can help to avoid probate.
One thing that we see from time to time is that after a death, family members have a hard time simply because they cannot find the paperwork that is needed. Make sure all parties involved know where the documents are located and who your financial advisor is.
We wish all of you a safe and prosperous NEW YEAR!