Protecting Your Loved Ones: Get Organized just in Case

As we zoom through life we live for today, without much thought for tomorrow. We take care of what is in front of us. Yes, we know that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Yes, accidents and heart attacks happen, but to others not us. We never know when our time is up. As my husband tells me, the question is not “if” I die, it is “when” I die. Therefore, instead of ignoring the possibility that your number will be called, I ask you to consider taking a few steps to protect your loved ones.

Here are some items to consider:

  1. Who will take care of your children? If you have young children, name a guardian or possible guardians in your will, don’t let the court decided.
  2. Will you leave enough behind to take care of those who depend on you? Make sure you have financial resources, disability insurance or life insurance so your family can afford the house payment, groceries, health care and education, if you are not there to take are of it.
  3. What will happen to your business, if something happens to you? To keep the value and provide for your family, make arrangements with someone knowledgeable in your business to step in and get the most value for your business. Have them decide to self it or close it. Make sure they have the legal rights to do so.
  4. Does someone know where you have a list of what you own, a copy of your will or trust, essential passwords and any other critical information needed in case you are not available? Document what you think is necessary. Leave the name of your advisors with your family and/or leave the name of family members with your advisors, just in case.

Next, organize your records. Include items such as:

  • A copy of your will
  • A copy of your trust document
  • A list of your personal assets
  • Life insurance policy and beneficiary statement
  • List of advisors and beneficiaries, family to contact
  • List of where you want your personal belongings to go
  • Letters to those you love
  • Personal preferences on your burial
  • A health power of attorney

It does not matter if you keep them in your safety deposit box, home fireproof safe, in the cloud, under your bed, etc. The most important element is to tell someone where your documents are.
Now with all the information in one place, you can evaluate how complete it is. You can work on a plan of action to maximize your financial resources, minimize death taxes, avoid probate, and most of all – maintain control over your life and protect your family.

Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA

Leave a Comment

Get Printed Copies Of the Newsletter