Are you organized if something occurs to you? If you become disabled all of a sudden through an automobile mishap or health disaster, will your family or substantial other know what your wishes are? If you die all of a sudden, will those closest to you know what to do? Will they know where your pertinent documents are kept or what assets may be available for your care?
As released in the Naperville Sun – July 20, 2008
While you are well and there are no health concerns before you is an excellent time to begin to become organized. One location that is an absolute in this procedure is to have your estate planning as much as date. At a minimum, you will need a will and financial power of attorney, which will designate the correct people to manage your matters for you either throughout life or upon your death. A copy of these documents must be kept in a binder with your attorney’s card on the inside. Make a list of all of your professionals who help you such as your Certified Public Accountant, accredited monetary planner, life insurance coverage agent, lender and physician, and consist of the addresses and phone numbers for each such person. You need to let individuals appointed understand the place of that binder so that it is readily available in the event that you require it.
In the event that you do not wish to be kept alive by synthetic methods if your doctor considers that you are in a terminal state, you should likewise have a living will and a power of attorney for healthcare, which ought to be kept in the same binder. A copy of the monetary power of attorney, which contains the HIPAA language that enables your agent to access your medical details, the living will and the power of attorney for health care ought to be offered to your principal doctor simply in case it is needed. If you take a trip, you must consider taking a copy of these documents with you, in case they are needed.
Another very handy binder would be one which contained a list of every possession you own, consisting of real estate, bank accounts, CDs, mutual funds, brokerage accounts, worker benefit strategies, life insurance coverage, safe deposit boxes, in addition to a list of antiques and other personal property. This will help the person who you appoint to take care of your interest while you are alive or the individual that you select to end up your estate, so that they will not have to search your entire home and workplace to find them. This will also assist to guarantee that no property is missed. Once a year, it would be a good idea to make a copy of the declarations since Dec. 31 for each and every account, so that your representative will understand the account numbers and the quantities that you have that can be used for your benefit.
Other files that would be useful and should be kept in a binder would be your birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, military discharge documents, passport or green card, Social Security card, medical insurance card, naturalization documents and copies of the car/truck/boat titles. These files will enable your agent to obtain the correct benefits that you might be allowed.
Many people like to prepay their funeral expense. If you have these, include these files and a copy of the cemetery plot deed in your binder. Some people are specific as to the guidelines that they have for their funerals. If you are one of them and desire to dictate the church, clothing, if contributions will be accepted, the party for the family and friends later, include your directions in your binder.
It sounds like a significant project, but if you tackle it a little at a time, it will not be. Rather of leaving a mess for your family, you have made it simple on them at a challenging time for them and you can have your dreams fulfilled.
How arranged are you?