Spring has officially sprung and that means it’s spring cleaning time. Shake out the rugs, clean out the cupboards, and get your legal and financial affairs in order.
For plenty of folks, it’s easy to know what to do when it comes to home organization, but the idea of legal and financial ordering can be complex and confusing.
Here are a few places you can start:
- Review Your Beneficiary Designations
Request updated beneficiary designation forms from your life insurance account and retirement account custodians. Look at the form and identify whether you have a minor designated as either a primary or contingent beneficiary. If you do, those assets will be tied up in Court, unnecessarily, 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 Family Wealth Inventory
Your Family Wealth Inventory is a document – usually a spreadsheet – itemizing the assets you own, so that in the event you become incapacitated, or when you die, your family will know how to find everything you own.
Without an updated Family Wealth Inventory, your assets could be lost to California’s department of unclaimed property. There’s currently over 8 billion – with a ‘B” – dollars of assets in California’ department of unclaimed property because most people do not leave a clear record of their assets at the time of their incapacity or death. Don’t let that happen to your assets!
- Consider If You Need to Name New Guardians (Long or Short-Term)
Review your guardian nomination designations. Have you named guardians for both the short-term (local) and the long-term (people you would trust to raise your kids fully)? If so, do they need to change? 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.
- Check Out the Title to Your House
Get a copy of the deed to your house and make sure that your trust is listed as the owner on the deed if you want your house to stay out of court in the event of your incapacity or death. If you see your personal name on the deed, and there is not a trust listed, you can bet your house would have to go through the court process of probate in the event of your death before it could be passed to your heirs. If you don’t want that, now is the perfect time to spruce up your planning.
- Come In and Meet With Us For a Family Legacy Planning Session
Last, but far from least, this is the perfect time of year to come in and meet with us for a Family Legacy Planning Session, whether you’ve done estate planning in the past or not. We will 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) 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. Call within the next week and mention this article to receive your session on a complimentary basis.
Dedicated to empowering your family, building your wealth and securing your legacy,