Some people get overwhelmed with the idea of getting their affairs in order and as a result find it easier to do nothing. To help people with that inertia, I'll be posting weekly Action Items - little steps that take an hour or less that will move you forward in the process and make it less daunting.
One of the best gifts you can give your loved ones, is the gift of being organized and having one place where all your financial information is written down. You can do this in a loose leaf notebook where all your bank and other financial statements are located, you can use a resource like the What If...Workbook, or you can keep a running list on your computer. The important thing is to keep it up to date, and make sure that your trusted family members know where to find it.
A list of some important things to list (feel free to add your ideas to the comments, I know this list is not exhaustive):
- Name of banks and all account numbers. Don't forget online banks like ING, or small accounts you may have a different banks, Christmas or Vacation Club accounts, credit unions.
- Name, policy number and company for all life insurance policies.
- Name and address of all advisers: attorney, financial adviser, accountant, etc.
- Location of Wills, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Documents.
- Information about utilities.
- Information about credit cards, mortgages, car loans.
- Information about brokerage accounts.
- Health Insurance information.
- Information about a prepaid funeral or burial plot, if you have one.
- Military service information
- Tax returns
When you are ready to take the step of meeting with an attorney to more fully plan for your future, designate who could access these accounts in the event of your incapacity, and legally memorialize how you would like to pass your property along after your death, call me at 781-749-2284 to schedule a consultation.
Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts involve complex areas of law. Individual circumstances must be considered before any advice can be given. The general information above is not to be construed as legal advice, which can only be given after consideration of the unique facts of each matter. Please seek the advice or counsel of your attorney, financial advisor or CPA as it may be appropriate.