Get Your Ducks in a RowSubmitted by AssetGrade, LLC. on March 19th, 2019
Submitted by Kate Hennessy on March 19, 2019
Recently my husband, Pat Hennessy, and I were looking for something important - one thing led to another and the next thing we knew we were spring cleaning. We don’t consider ourselves pack rats, but when we started cleaning we realized we had tax returns dating back to 2002! So, maybe we are pack rats? We both agreed it was time to organize and shred. Let’s face it – life goes by fast –there are big milestones (moving, marriages, births, deaths), but there are also little events leading up to the big milestones. Getting your financial house organized isn’t a top priority for most people.
Pat and I found what we were looking for, but we learned a valuable lesson. The importance of getting your “ducks in a row.” For me as a financial planner – it means the following:
- Keep your will, trust documents, physical stock certificates, and anything else of similar importance in a safe place. Two common secure places are – bank safety deposit box or home safe.
- Have an inventory of your investment and saving accounts. This is commonly kept in a financial plan, or if you don’t have a plan in place - on a sheet of paper (without account numbers).
- Re-title your investment assets according to your estate plan, if you have one. In particular, make sure that any non-retirement assets (home, brokerage accounts, savings accounts) that should be in the name of a trust, have actually been re-titled as intended. Also, make sure that the beneficiaries in all of your accounts are correctly aligned, particularly to reflect any changes that might have occurred (birth, death, marriage, divorce).
- Inform a trusted person (executor of your estate, spouse, partner) how to access #1 and #2.
By taking the above steps, you’ll feel more organized, have peace of mind, and be prepared in the event of the unexpected.
Happy Spring Cleaning!