Naming Beneficiaries is Just the Start
“It is a mess – I am still finding things that she never told me about,” lamented the 78-year old nephew who was the executor of his aunt’s estate. The aunt left him and his cousin as beneficiaries, as she had no children of her own. But she never sat down with either of the adult nephews to review her financial affairs.
This is all too common.
Like married couples, single people should have their legal documents in order, such as Durable Power of Attorney, Will and perhaps a Trust. In addition, singles should take time with desired family members or friends to review their affairs. Everyone will benefit tremendously from this conversation. Your family will appreciate this immensely, especially if it is done before an emergency situation arises.
If you are the designated beneficiary or executor for a single relative, you may have to be the one to request a financial review meeting. It may not be an easy topic to bring up. However, a planning meeting today will save you frustration, time and energy later on. And, you will better be able to fulfill your family member’s intent at their death.
At such a meeting, the following would be important subjects to review:
- A spreadsheet of financial and personal assets
- Beneficiary designations for each account, if any
- Disclosure of where important documents are kept, such as legal documents or policies
- Disclose of where valuable assets are kept, such as cash or jewelry.
“I had asked my aunt to sit with me to review everything over these past years. She always postponed the meeting and it never happened. Now I am doing the best I can to find everything.”– 78-year old Nephew
Don’t let confusion and frustration be your legacy. Take the time to sit down with your loved ones and review your affairs. You are showing your family respect and trust through such a meeting. They will love you all the more!
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