Spring Cleaning For Your Legal and Financial Affairs
Spring has officially sprung and that means it’s time for spring cleaning for your legal and financial affairs! 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.
This article will give you a few places to start
Review Your Beneficiary Designations
The first action is to review your beneficiary designations. Request updated beneficiary designation forms from your life insurance companies and financial and retirement account custodians. Do you have primary and contingent (secondary) beneficiaries named? Have you named a minor child as either a primary or contingent beneficiary? If so, someone will have to be appointed through the Courts as financial guardian to manage those assets for the beneficiary. Then at age 18, the beneficiary will be able to get them outright.
Consider providing financial, court and creditor protection by naming a trust for the child as beneficiary of your life insurance and financial accounts. You can then direct when and how the money will be used for the child.
Update Your Family Wealth Inventory
If you have one, it’s time to update your Family Wealth Inventory. If you don’t have one, now is a great time to complete one. This outlines what you own and how/where it is held. In the event you become incapacitated or when you die, your family will know exactly how to find what you own.
Without an updated Family Wealth Inventory, your assets could be lost to the state department of unclaimed property. NC currently has $919,000,000 of other people’s money in the state department of unclaimed property. Why? Because most people do not leave a clear record of their assets at the time of their incapacity or death. When the heirs don’t collect it, it sits in an account with the state.
Reconsider Your Guardians (Long and Short-Term)
Review and reconsider your guardians for your children. Have you named guardians for both the short-term (local people) and the long-term (people you would trust to raise your kids)? Do you need to make any changes? Is there anyone in your family you want to specifically exclude? Do you have an ID card in your wallet for your Kids Protection Plan®? Does the ID card 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 if you have a Trust it is listed as the owner on the deed. If you see only your personal name(s) on the deed, and there is not a trust listed, your house will have to go through the court probate process of probate upon your death. 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 Wealth Planning Session
NOW is the perfect time of year to come in and meet with us for a Family Wealth Planning Session, whether you’ve done planning in the past or not. We will have a 90 minute 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.