Planning For The Future
by Megan Preston, Program Co-VP
Raise your hand if you…
- Have a Will
- Know what your Will says and have things the way you want it
- Know where your Will is, and for those of you who have a POA and/or a trust, know where those documents are
- Know who your executor/POA/successor trustee is
- Your executor/POA/successor trustee know that they are going to serve in those roles Congratulations to those who still have a hand up. Now it’s going to get a little bit harder.
- Your executor/POA/successor trustee knows where to find your original estate planning documents
- For those who have those documents locked in a safe, file cabinet, or a safety deposit box, your executor/POA/successor trustee has a key/ passcode/etc. to access those documents
- For those who have a preference for their funeral arrangements or end of life celebration arrangements, and your executor knows what those preferences are.
- For those who have a medical POA, your POA knows your medical history, current medications, allergies, and any other pertinent medical info on you.For anyone who still has a hand up, congratulations! You have done a lot to make sure your wishes are met and have alleviated so much future stress from your loved ones.5 Steps to better peace of mind:Step one: check your beneficiaries on bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, and any other assets that have beneficiaries. If you need to make any changes, it’s usually very simple.
Step two: know what your estate planning documents say and where you keep the originals. If you need to make changes to your documents, contact an estate attorney ASAP.
Step three: tell your executor/power of attorney/successor trustee where you keep your original estate planning documents and give them a key or passcode if you have them locked up somewhere.
Step four: write stuff down! This helps direct your loved ones on what you wanted after you passed away. This can be information on your kids or pets, what you want at your funeral, who should receive the family heirloom, etc. Those you leave behind make a lot of decisions after you pass, but you can help them by writing things down now.
Step five: communicate your current situation and wishes. Tell your executor what your estate plan is and any final wishes you have. Tell them about your financial situation so they aren’t surprised by bills or forget about a bank account. Tell your medical power of attorney your medical history, allergies, and current medications. If there’s something that your trusted people should know, tell them now! You’re not helping them or yourself by not sharing this vital information.