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Planning for Your Own Death Is Important, But Seldom Done…

Carve out some time to discuss your financial situation in the event you die.  What are your wishes?  What cemetery will you be buried in?  Have you titled your property correctly so you don’t have to wait for the probate court to decide things for two years?  How should you designate a beneficiary?  Why and when do you need an attorney?
Beyond these very big, but standard issues let me just point out one other discussion point that perhaps you have never thought to discuss in preparation for your death:  Create a document and determine a location in which to store this document for passwords and other absolutely important information.  Passwords give your surviving family members access to bank accounts, utilities, insurance products, and so forth.  Be sure the document includes account numbers and other vital information to go along with the password. I review my key contacts with my spouse each January so we are both up-to-date about auto and homeowner’s insurance policies. We also review the current Screen shot 2016-06-03 at 1.42.28 PMstatus of our living trust, along with any agreements we may have entered into.  I update the password document and make sure PIN numbers, where to find birth and marriage certificates, titles to the car, where the key to our safety deposit box is kept, and other important information are included. That way, if I die, my spouse knows what’s going on, and when we both die, our kids can more easily settle our estate.
We all pass away, so why not plan for this?  Save time and money by getting organized in advance and do like the elementary schools do by establishing a quarterly financial “fire drill” so to speak.  If the elementary school caught on fire, small children have practiced what they would do to save their life.  Most schools don’t catch on fire, but you will surely die.  This is a certain event just like taxes.  Save grief and headache for your survivors by planning ahead and then review for any changes at least once a year.

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