Are You Sure You Remembered Everything?
Virtually every estate has the same problem!
You had your estate documents prepared and painstakingly thought of every scenario, but . . . here’s the catch. Did you prepare a letter or memo of instructions?
Here are a few examples.
Example: Husband has an investment account accruing no interest at a financial institution. Husband dies and the wife has no knowledge of the account. Wife moves to a different address and the financial institution forwards the money to unclaimed property.
(If you haven’t checked here’s the site: http://www.patreasury.gov/claim/ ) Currently, $2.3 billion is held by the Pennsylvania Treasury.
Example: Widow dies without any family. She names an executor in her Will who has no knowledge where the financial assets, if any, are located.
That memo, instruction list, or letter should be kept with your Will/Trust or among your important papers.
What should be on this checklist? I’m so glad you asked!
1. Name and address of your physician, attorney, CPA, insurance agent, accountant, stockbroker, and any other financial advisors.
2. Location of insurance policies, deeds, mortgages, safety deposit box, and checkbook.
3. Account numbers for banks, savings, checking account, investment accounts, annuities, and credit cards.
4. Names and addresses of all beneficiaries for insurance policies, IRAs, and retirement accounts, as well as present and former employers.
5. Location of your most recent federal and state income tax returns.
6. Passwords to accounts and digital assets.
7. Burial, or other instructions as to what to do with your remains.
Don’t forget to update your checklist every year. The perfect time to do it might be when you file your income tax return.
For more information about estates, elder law, tax law or business consulting or valuation, or to send a comment to us, please visit www.iezzilaw.com.