When it comes to your peace of mind, one of the most important things you can do is to ensure the well-being of your family’s future. There is a list of important things to keep in mind in order to prepare for them just in case something happens to you and having that peach of mind is part of living well, doing well.
1. Preparing a Will
Many people feel like they do not need a will if they aren’t wealthy or do not have more than one child or any children. That is simply not true.
In fact, even if you just have a spouse and moderate means, a will makes sure that you decide who gets what, not the courts. Without a will, your beneficiaries may be stuck in probate court and sometimes for years and that is not necessary.
In fact, it is suggested that anyone over the age of 18-years-old should have a will no matter what their financial status. You can do this online or visit with a lawyer but as long as you have one, that is the important thing.
While you’ll want to focus on the monetary distributions, don’t forget about the rest of your estate. Often times valuable furniture, jewelry, and other family heirlooms need to have a defined inheritance plan.
2. Update Your Life Insurance
Life insurance takes care of your family’s needs after you are gone but you need to make sure you have everything in order such as having the beneficiaries listed correctly and an overall view of your plan. This is also a good time to see if you want to switch plans or find something that works better but most importantly, make sure you have life insurance in the first place.
3. Designate TODs
TOD stands for transfer on death which means that you need to designate items like CD accounts, bank accounts, and individual brokerage accounts because otherwise, they get stuck in probate and that is not necessary if you have made the designation.
This is something you will have to do on your own, but it is not a long process and it ensures that these assets get transferred to your heirs instead of having to be fought over in probate court. You want to make sure your heirs do not even have to deal with probate unless it is absolutely unavoidable and in this case, it is avoidable with just a bit of paperwork and some signatures.
4. Designate an Estate Manager
It is also crucial to designate someone as the estate manager for after you are gone. This does not have to automatically be the person you are married to either – instead, choose the best person for the job – someone who has good decision-making skills, someone you can trust, and someone with a sound mental capacity.
Keep in mind that this person will be in charge of everything that you have entrusted them to so choose wisely and don’t be pressured into picking someone who you don’t want.
5. A Financial Advisor
If you have a significant means of income or investments, be sure to meet with a financial advisor so that you get professional advice on things like long-term care insurance or updating your investment portfolio. These are things that may have been done but should be updated at least every five years or so.
Plus, you can get advice on anything you may have looked over. This is also a perfect time to make updates, changes, or let your advisor know of anything that is different that will affect your portfolio or insurance.