Taking Care of What’s Important, Just in Case

estate planning preparing you and your family for the worst wills, documents, bills

Advance Notice

If something were to happen to you in the blink of an eye, do you have a plan in place to protect your family? There are a few things to consider now which can give you peace of mind.

List your account information.

Collect all your accounts (bank, investment, insurance, mortgage, credit cards, utilities, vacation clubs, auto leases, loans, loyalty point accounts) and write the information down. Include account usernames and passwords and the names and phone numbers of any particular contacts you use. Note if any accounts are set up on auto pay and what the payment method is. Give the list to someone you trust and update it if things change.

Get or update your will.

The right type of will saves your family time and money and gives you peace of mind knowing your wishes will be followed. While you’re at it, look into creating a power of attorney and a living will. A living will is a legal document that sets out your healthcare wishes in the event you cannot articulate them yourself. Power of attorney gives legal authority to another person to make property, financial, and other legal decisions for you.

Review your insurance beneficiaries.

Make sure your designated beneficiaries are accurate and the distribution among individuals still reflects your wishes.

Life insurance.

Work with an insurance advisor who will help you determine how much coverage you need and can afford, and what type of life insurance is right for you. If you already have a policy, schedule a review. Situations change. Your current coverage may not be sufficient.

Long term disability insurance.

Disability can happen to anyone—an auto accident, a bad fall, a debilitating illness—we’re all vulnerable. Long term disability insurance can protect your income and your family’s financial well-being in the event you can’t work.

Long term care insurance.

If you don’t have it, it’s time to seriously consider this type of insurance. It protects your nest egg (and/or your family’s potential inheritance) by covering many of the costs of a nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care which aren’t covered by Medicare.

Homeowners, auto, and umbrella insurance.

Review these policies with your agent to ensure your coverage will adequately pay for damage and protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit. For example, if you add a teen driver to your auto insurance policy, consider increasing your umbrella policy. With umbrella coverage, you can add $1 million or more to your auto and homeowner’s liability coverage, generally for pennies on the dollar.

Another way to ensure you are well-prepared to care for your family in the event something happens to you is to consult with a financial advisor and an estate planner. This way, nothing should go overlooked.

By Annette Brooks

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