No matter your age, it’s about time you look over all your legal documents and bring them up to date. From your power of attorney to your will and from your life insurance to your health insurance, the best thing you can do for your future is to ensure all your documents are current and relevant for your current situation. Investing an hour of your time today, reviewing your documents saves your loved ones the likelihood of finding themselves in legal limbo with out-of-date or non-existent ones.
Planning for Diminishing Capacity and Illness
What are some things you can do to financially plan for the future? Whether you decline as you age or pass away suddenly, you’ll need a plan in place to handle your affairs. Here are some steps you can take today.
Get your financial and medical power of attorney in order. If you become incapacitated, you’ll want to have identified a trusted person, in your power of attorney documents. This POA (power of attorney) then steps in and is able to make financial or health decisions on your behalf when you are not capable of doing so yourself. Financial and medical powers are often appointed in separate legal documents, so ensure you have someone in place for each role. You can select an individual who serves in both roles.
Get your Will in order. If you haven’t yet had a Will written, there’s no time like the present to have one drafted as passing away without a Will is almost certainly to leave a messy situation for others to untangle. If you do have a will in place, how old is it? Have things changed? Are circumstances different? Do you have new family members or have any beneficiaries passed away? It’s time to make sure your will is current. Per this article, here are some reasons why you might need your Will revised:
1.) You have added a child to your family.
2.) You have married.
3.)You’re contemplating divorce.
4.) You have divorced.
5.) Your children are now grown adults.
6.) Your children have married.
7.) Beneficiaries or executors have passed away.
8.) Your Will is lost.
Get your life and long-term care insurance policies in order. If you’ve moved, if your marital status has changed, if circumstances are now different than what they once were, you’ll want to have a look at your insurance policies to ensure the information is current and accurate. Many life insurance policies are frequently decades old before the payment of benefits. Industry consolidation often confuses the current insurance company name with predecessors. Getting things in order is about figuring out what insurance you actually have. You can’t claim benefits if you, or your heirs, don’t know whom to contact.
Not only will you want to name beneficiaries, but you’ll also want to make sure your address and pertinent information is correct as well. Now is also the time to reevaluate your policy. If family or financial circumstances have changed, perhaps your policy no longer fits your financial needs. If so, make sure your policy is best suited for today and for the future. Talk with a licensed insurance professional to know what fits your needs and budget.
Designate a trusted contact person. As we age, there is always the chance that we are no longer capable of making critical decisions with our finances or our health like we used to. You’ll want to have a trusted contact person for a couple of reasons.
For your investment advisor. If your investment advisor is noting unusual decisions or behavior with your finances, they are allowed to contact your trusted contact person.
For your long-term care insurance. If you are making payments for a long-term care insurance policy, having a trusted contact person on record puts a safety net in place. By identifying a contact and keeping their current contact information on file, the insurance carrier can notify them of possible policy cancellations. This is critical because if you are incapacitated or simply forget to issue payment, you avoid losing out on the long-term benefits you may desperately need.
Be Smart, Don’t Fall Apart
It’s a good idea to look over your records every couple of years to make sure everything is up to date and current according to your lifestyle. Whether you decline in years or have an unforeseen accident, be sure to give your loved ones the peace of mind that you have already taken care of everything.
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