(612) 206-3701 info@lucerelegal.com

Have You Completed Your Important Information Central File?

Lucere Legal helps families plan for the future with estate planning
Categories: Estate Planning

It’s always hard to plan for an event you would rather put off and, well, death certainly falls into that category for many of us. If you’ve procrastinated on giving much thought to the particulars you are hardly alone, but a well-thought-out estate plan is one of the kindest things you can do for your family.

When the time comes, your family will already be preoccupied by the grief and pain of your passing; spare them the additional burden of having to rummage through all your affairs to find the personal and business paperwork they’ll need–that’s hardly a memory you would like to leave behind.

Instead, take the time to bring all of it together in one easy-to-find location. The following items are best placed into a single file that your family is aware of. Otherwise, your unexpected death or health crisis may well cause even more stress.

Advisors  – Have you worked with financial advisors in the past? Attorneys? How about life insurance agents, CPAs, etc.? Furnish your loved ones with the names and contact info of anyone with information that might be important.

Bank Accounts and Safe Deposit Boxes  – You should make your family aware of the names of any banks you hold accounts in and the relevant account numbers. Don’t forget online banking! Provide the PINs, passwords, and web addresses that hey will need. Provide the contact information of any personal banker and, if you have a safety deposit box, record the name of the bank and the account number, not to mention the box’s contents and the location of its key.

Investment And Retirement Accounts – You will need to give your inheritors all the information they need, much like above. Give them the name of your brokerage, your personal broker, the location of your statement and, of course,  the account and PIN numbers.

Insurance  – Keep a portfolio containing the details of each of your policies–whether health, home, car, life, or long-term care–and provide the contact information for each account’s corresponding agent. Don’t forget the account numbers!

Health care – Leave behind the contact information for any physicians you work with regularly, as well as information on your Medicare or other gap coverage you may have.

House –  Is your home still mortgaged? If so, be sure to provide the important details: who is the lender and when are payments due? Indicate the location of all deeds and property titles. If you have any home service providers–cleaning help, lawn care, etc.–include their contact information.

Credit Cards – Make a photocopy of both sides of each credit card and provide balance and payment information.

Vehicles – Your loved ones will need information on where titles and registration information are kept, as well as a photocopy of your driver’s license.

Personal – There may be friends and neighbors who you would like to be made aware of your passing, so include a list with their email and phone contact information. Of course, your own email account log-ins and passwords should be provided. Read more about planning your digital estate here – Planning for the future of your digital estate.

This last bit of planning on your part will go a long way toward helping your family cope in the immediate aftermath of your death or incapacitation.

One of the main goals of our law practice is to help families like yours plan for the safe, successful transfer of your wealth to the next generation.  Call our office today at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about this in a family estate planning consultation, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family to ensure your legacy of love and financial security.

Image Courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Contact us to see how we can help you with Estate Planning

You may also like . . .

The Risks of Poor Man’s Estate Planning: 10 Common Mistakes

With my years of experience as an attorney, I have seen plenty of families left to sort things out for themselves because their parents either failed to plan their estate or turned to the siren song of the new, “do-it-yourself” estate planning websites in a misguided...

It’s Time You Got an Agent

You need an agent. No matter the nature of your unique talent and whether or not you have a particularly telegenic personality, your agent will be there to protect your interests and desires even after you’ve passed. What, did you think I meant the Hollywood type?...

The plain-English guide for Minnesota small business owners

When it comes to business, ignorance isn't bliss; ignorance is risk.

There's a handful of legal topics that business owners should be familiar with, at least on a rudimentary level, to reduce the risk of having something horrible come out of left field.

This book is a legal guide to help you put the most common business legal issues on your radar, with enough information for you to be on the alert for when you may need to get some professional advice.

The intention in arming you with this information is so that you can proceed in business confidently and with fewer legal quagmires.

Do you have a cabin?

The first generation that buys a cabin enjoys it to the fullest and it’s a magical place where happy memories are made and families go for some much needed respite. Unfortunately, without thoughtful planning, the chances of the cabin staying a place of happiness and tranquility into successive generations is very, very slim.

If you haven’t done the planning in advance and made it legally binding, the family members (and their ex-spouses and new spouses) will have to work every detail out for themselves. If they can’t, what is likely to happen is a lawsuit called an action for partition that forces everyone to sell their interest. This lawsuit is expensive, and the costs of litigation will come out of the proceeds of the sale of the cabin, so to add insult to injury to those who wanted to keep the cabin but couldn’t afford to buy the others out, they are footing part of the legal bills in the lawsuit against them. Ouch!

It’s no wonder that family members stop speaking for years after the cabin conflict is “resolved.” You can’t make family relationships perfect, but you can take away much of the fuel for the family conflict fire. That’s what cabin planning does, and it has the nice side effect of giving you peace of mind now.

That’s why Kimberly wrote The Minnesota Cabin Planning Guide and Workbook, and you can get a free electronic copy of her book on our cabin planning website, or you can find it in many county libraries in Minnesota, or you can get it on amazon.com.

Make An Appointment>

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our newsletter list to get information and resources helpful to running your business and planning and managing your personal financial affairs delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam and won’t share your information with anyone, at anytime, ever.

Check out our podcast

The Small Business Buzz Podcast