Survivorship Planning – 101

Here at Wambolt & Associates, we’ve been talking about Survivorship Planning. This stems from meetings with our clients who are concerned about “what if something happens to me.” This is one of those 3 things that worry us women most.
What planning can we do to minimize the impact an untimely death will have on our families? It begins with Survivorship Planning. Simply put, its accumulating documents that will help those left behind in the event of death of a loved one. These documents include important legal, financial and personal information.

Fact: 70% of Americans have not planned properly for their death. This failure to plan can create family conflict and emotional turmoil that is often magnified by confusion of plans or desires of the deceased. The result is the inability to make basic decisions because of the lack of basic information

We are preparing a Survivorship Planning packet that will be available to our clients in early 2015 that will be a tool for families to begin pulling information together, and it should be a catalyst for having these difficult but necessary conversations with our loved ones. In the meantime, we’ve provided a list of essential documents could begin the process for you. As the holidays are upon us, families will be together… it is a good time to be grateful of on another, and it may be a good time to make a few of your wishes known.

Have these available:

  • Marriage license – multiple copies (5)
  • Divorce decree – if applicable
  • Life insurance policies
  • Investments documents: social security, 401k accounts, pension plans, annuity contracts
  • List of bank accounts & how they’re titled, list of safety deposit boxes, list of usernames and passwords to any online accounts
  • Healthcare- Breakdown of personal and family medical history
  • Durable healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Authorization to release healthcare information
  • Living Will
  • Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order
  • Proof of Ownership of the following: Housing, land and cemetery deeds
    Escrow mortgage accounts (if any)
  • Proof of loans made and debts owed Vehicle titles
  • Stock certificates, savings bonds, brokerage accounts, Partnership agreements, Tax returns
  • The Essentials: Wills, Letter of Instruction, Trust documents

Written by: Cindy Alverez

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