Spring is in the air, with a flurry of activity underway. You’ve got yard work to do and a cleaning list a mile long, but before you tackle reorganizing the garage, have you thought about the state of your finances? End-of-life financial planning tends to get dusty, and a little spring cleaning is never a bad idea. Here are a few areas that could likely stand to be aired out.
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
Family dynamics change, as well as the assets you intend to disperse. Make sure the latest family addition is included in your will, along with everyone’s date of birth, relationship to you, and the amount or percentage you’d like to leave to them. Be sure to indicate whether any trusts are included in your will or left separate. If you keep them separate, it’s a good idea to make sure your trustee and the executor of your estate can work well together and communicate.
Updating the Roster
Nobody wants to play where’s Waldo when trying to navigate asset allocation. Double-check the names and contact information of all companies and individuals involved in your finances. This includes your personal representative along with an alternative, the executor of your estate, your attorney, your accountant, and at least two trusted advisors. Make sure that their respective business names are up-to-date and that all contact information listed is correct. You should also list your preferred dental, medical, insurance, and financial planning providers.
By the Numbers
If your budget has changed since the last time you updated your will, then you have some updating to do! List all income and expenses, along with payment dates and autopayments. You’ll also want to include bank account names and numbers, dependent accounts, and login usernames and passwords. If you have any I-owe-you’s or debts, no matter which side of them you’re on, you should note them along with payment status and contact information.
Free up the Filing Cabinet
Give your important documents a once-over. Along with the deed to your house, you need to include all documents related to its purchase, mortgage holder and balance, and any home improvement projects. Look over the titles and registrations for your vehicles and all personal ID documentation like social security cards, birth certificates, military records, and tax documents. If things feel crowded, consider converting your documents to a digital format. Just be sure to use a digital storage program that utilizes encryption and that the appropriate parties know how to access your files.
Checking All of the Boxes
It’s a great feeling to get caught up on your spring cleaning, especially when you know you’ve covered all the bases. For a comprehensive to-do list, take a look at our Heir’s Checklist. As always, we’re here to answer all of your financial planning questions and guide you toward holistic investing. While you’re at it, send a little nudge to your loved ones to make sure their finances are in tip top shape as well! After all, big-picture-planning is a habit that invests in your whole life- including the people around you- and that’s an investment that’s even more rewarding than a freshly organized garage.