There is little good to say about our current icy spell. The single digit temperatures with below zero wind chills, combined with plenty of snow make getting out difficult and undesirable.
Why not use this time as a planning opportunity?
This is the perfect time to get your finances and documents organized and up to date! What should you look at?
- Life Insurance – do you know where the policies are? Do you know who your beneficiaries are? Check each policy to make certain that these are correct.
- Retirement Funds (IRAs, 401Ks) – again, have you named the correct beneficiaries? Double-check to make sure that these are up to date and correct.
- Estate Plan – do you have one? If not, it is time to get started.
- Will or Trust – if you do have one, take it out and re-read it. Does it accurately reflect your desires and relationships today? Are the agents you selected in the past the ones that you want today? Are the beneficiaries correct? Are the amounts for each still right?
- Disability – do you have a Durable Power of Attorney? A Patient Advocate Designation (Power of Attorney for Health Care)? Do these reflect your current thinking?
- Where is all your paperwork? Is all of this information scattered around in different drawers and locations? Do you even know where it is?
Once the information is all accumulated – organize it. Put it all together in one location. Include life insurance policies, all retirement plans, retirement fund statements (year-end), bank account statements (year-end), investment account statements (year-end), deeds, trusts, wills, durable power of attorneys and health care directives.
If you don’t have an estate plan – start one now. Determine, with the assistance of an attorney, what will meet your needs. Then take the steps to get it done.
By the time the balmy breezes of spring arrive, your task will be complete. You will have real peace of mind knowing that all of your affairs are in good order.