Spring is here and it’s time to do some “Spring” cleaning. The things we usually do are clean house, clean closets, switch out wardrobes, etc …. Now’s also a perfect time to get your legal and financial affairs in order.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:
Review Your Beneficiary Designations
Request copies of your beneficiary designation forms from your life insurance and retirement account companies. Look at the forms and identify whether you have a minor designated as a beneficiary. If you do be aware that if you die before that beneficiary reaches 18 those assets will be UNNECESSARILY tied up in Court, and may not be available to the people you’ve named to care for your children.
Consider designating your life insurance and retirement accounts to be distributed to a trust for the benefit of your heirs, providing Court and creditor protection, and ensuring your children do not inherit money before they are properly prepared.
Update Your Asset Inventory
Your Asset Inventory is where you document the assets that you own, so that in the event you become incapacitated or when you die, your family will know how to find what you own.
Without an updated Asset Inventory, your assets could be lost to the state department of unclaimed property.
Consider If You Need to Name New Guardians for your Children in the Event of Your Death or Incapacity
Review your guardian nomination designations. Have you named guardians for both the short-term and the long-term - people you would trust to raise your kids fully? If so, do they need to change because someone previously named has moved away, is no longer part of your life, is no longer trusted, etc.? Is there anyone you would wish to exclude? Does the ID card for your wallet need to be updated? This is the time to check. Alternatively, if your children are grown and your Wills are old, it may be time to update the terms of your Wills to include new assets acquired over the years and provisions for grandchildren, for example.
Check Out the Title to Your House
Get a copy of the deed to your house and make sure, if you have a trust, that your TRUST is listed as the owner on the deed. The trust being named is necessary if you want your house to stay out of court in the event of your incapacity or death. Now is the perfect time to make changes should you need a trust.
Come In and Meet With Us For a Your Personal Planning Session.
Last, but far from least, this (and any time of year) is the perfect time of year to come in and meet with us for a Family Wealth Planning Session. This is whether or not you’ve done planning in the past. We’ll have a 2-hour working meeting that will get you more financially organized than you’ve likely ever been before (unless you’ve already done planning with us J) and give you the confidence of knowing you’ve made the most empowered, informed and educated legal and financial decisions for the people you love.
This article is a service of Debbie London Baker, your Family’s Personal Lawyer. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Planning Session during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, so as to make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today at 813-586-1DEB (1332) to schedule your Planning Session. Mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.