MoneyDo: Organize Your Estate & Financial Details
What do New Year’s resolutions, spring cleaning and your financial plan have in common? All of them involve some sort of re-organization, starting with a clean slate or have an annual action item for you to do. This week’s Money Do is to organize estate planning and financial details, in the event that you or others may need to be involved in the future. 1) Locate all your estate planning documents. As mentioned in a prior Money Do, they should be in a secure, but accessible location, with copies provided to key family members that have been named in the documents.
2) Inventory ALL your assets and debts. The written inventory should include:
a. type and titling on the account,
b. full account number,
c. any beneficiaries listed on the account
d. where the account is located and the contact information of the company or person,
e. if you log in to the account electronically, provide website, username and password
3) Inventory employer benefits, insurance information (health, home owner’s, etc…), governmental benefits, or veterans’ benefits
4) List your bills and financial obligations, such as monthly or annual bills, subscriptions or memberships
5) List other important individuals, such as attorney, accountant, insurance rep, and advisors
6) User names and passwords for social media, e-mail or other online services.
The format you choose to do these is up to you. Some people do it by hand; others use a spreadsheet or electronic document. Annex has a document we call our “Grab and Go” binder that our clients find useful to help with the organization.
Once you have done this, be sure to share it! If one spouse has been the primary person to organize and track finances, please share this information with the other. It is important to provide this information to others so if something happens to you it is easy for things to carry on. As with all things your organizer must be kept up to date if things change.
You may have noticed that we did not include listing account values or balances. Include that information if you’re ready to share that information with your trusted ones.
We often find that this process makes people realize they have accounts in numerous places. Consolidating assets and accounts may be an important next step to streamline and simplify your finances.