In the last twelve months there has been so much health & financial uncertainty, we’ve had plenty of reasons to update (or draft our first) Wills and Powers-of-Attorney. Anyone over 18 could benefit by drafting a Will, but also a Medical Power of Attorney and Directive to Physicians, in the event that you become medically incapacitated.
Wills can be simple, but are very valuable. They allow you to direct how, to whom and when your assets would transfer to family members (or others) at the time of your demise. You can determine who fulfills the responsibility for Guardianship of your minor children. You get to express how things of economic or sentimental value are conveyed to persons upon your passing.
Equally important is the need to review the Beneficiary status of all your financial assets annually. This includes your IRA’s (Traditional & Roth), Annuities you may own and any life insurance policies. Make an extra effort and comb through your (or your significant-other’s) employer-sponsored benefits to verify the existence of stock grants, profit-sharing, yet-invested retirement assets, disability, employer-provided life insurance, long-term care and any other medical or financial benefits.
Another precaution you can take-whether you’re legally married or otherwise, is to be sure that your bank accounts are properly titled. We’ve witnessed instances where certain banks will “freeze” account balances after the death of an owner until additional steps are taken to satisfy that bank's policies. Simply ask the bank: Will this account pass to the person I identify in my Will?
Anytime you or your family experience a life event, consider how it may have changed things—and adjust your Will accordingly. Marital status; a new child or the death of another family member can trigger the need for updating your Will.
These are not the most enjoyable topics to talk about and are often overlooked. We simply value keeping families better prepared and financially more secure.— We are not attorneys, so call one for a more advanced viewpoint over this subject.
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