Don’t Forget the Details of Planning Ahead
Courtesy of Family Matters, East Denver LIVING WELL Magazine
Most people rely on industry experts to plan their estates, preparing wills, trusts, health care directives, powers of attorney and financial plans. All of these are important; however, they leave huge gaps and a feeling of being underprepared. Missing are the hundreds of details that make up “the whole” of a person’s life and a way to present it all in a meaningful and well-organized format.
The surviving loved one needs help: Where to start? How to find the information needed? How to record all the information? How to know when everything is finished? Lawyers or funeral directors cannot help with the details. And you don’t want to wonder what was missed for days or months or possibly years.
Keep in mind that your assets only represent about 20% of your affairs. Liabilities, online accounts, final plans, subscriptions, government affairs, health and property insurance, vehicles, real estate, utilities, taxes, employers, memberships, medical issues, etc., make up the complexities that need to be addressed at a transition.
Could the following be problems for your personal representative/executor (PR)?
-The total value of the estate is unknown, therefore the risk for financial abuse is increased.
-Heirs almost always overestimate their inheritance, so the settlement of the estate may be questioned.
-The PR doesn’t know how many life insurance policies, financial accounts, trusts, credit cards, subscriptions, memberships or charitable donations (if any) exist.
-The PR doesn’t know what is required or the procedures to notify every person, company and account about the situation and perform all the necessary tasks.
One solution is to discuss your affairs with family members but this is easier said than done. These are difficult discussions and should include all family members. Several hours or days are required to cover all of the information and some heirs are better equipped and more willing to have these discussions than others. Also, you may want heirs to know the details of your affairs in the future but not now.
Family Matters has created a Family Transition Plan to solve these problems. Visit www.familmattersusa.com or call 720-488-1728 for more information.