Archive for January, 2019

Mistakes in Estate Planning

No one knows when they are going to die. Most people feel they have ample time to make preparations, but too often, people die prematurely. Here are some typical Estate planning errors I have seen in my career.

1) No Will or Trust.
2) Not updating beneficiaries in the Will or Trust.
3) Not updating beneficiary designations on IRA/401K or other qualified plans (especially after a death or divorce).
4) Not having a list of usernames, passwords, and answers to “secret questions”. This list needs to be available to spouse or executor of your estate.
5) Not notifying the three credit agencies immediately so no one can claim identity of the deceased. Unscrupulous people check obituaries and then try to apply for credit cards in the name of the deceased.
6) Not requesting at least twenty original death certificates with raised seals to unlock insurance benefits, investment accounts, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid benefits (some people say, but all your accounts are JTWROS? You still must provide proof of the death).
7) Not preparing for highest automobile insurance rates when one spouse dies (since the risk is higher for only one person).
8) If the deceased was the owner of a credit card and the spouse was a user, then the accounts will be cancelled. Consider having separate cards.
9) Special collectables like guns and sports cars need to have all the paperwork available to sell or transfer the title.
10) Not having any accurate summary of ALL your finances.

The list goes on and on.

Sit with your financial advisor to get started on it today, not tomorrow.