Get Your Affairs in Order
Unfortunately, most of us know of someone who has passed away due to COVID. It is fast and unexpected for the family. Many times the survivors are lost when it comes to dealing with the finances and other matters that must be done after someone dies. You can make it much easier on them if you will “plan ahead”. If you are married and your estate is valued at less than $24 million, you do not need to even have Wills if you plan your affairs properly. You can name a “beneficiary” on bank and investment accounts like you do on a life insurance policy. You can name a beneficiary on your 401K plan and your IRA’s and ROTH IRA’s. In Texas, you can even name a beneficiary of your house and other real estate. You just need a death certificate to settle all those accounts if you set them up correctly. You can also use a “Living Trust” to make things easier, although this requires a trust document.
Then, put a reminder in your calendar to update a “letter of instruction” for your family that gives them any specific information they may need. Put it in a folder or large envelope that also has a recent statement of any account, insurance policy, credit card, etc. that you have and any login information you have. They will have contact information and account numbers easily together in one place. Tell your family where that information is located. Put it in your safe if you have one, but make sure the family knows the combination. Remind them always what you have done, then once you die, they have everything they need.
If you are the one that handles all the finances, have a “state of the union” talk with your spouse and family at least once a year or when critical things change. It gives them great peace of mind knowing you have taken care of everything. Don’t procrastinate. Do it now for the sake of your family.
Call us if you do not know where to start, and we can do it for you or guide you.