Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Tips from the Treasurer: Your Last Gift to Your Family

We're all bound to move on from this life, hopefully sometime in the distant future.  One thing you can do for yourself and for your family is to wrap things up before then.  It's important to make sure that things are done the way you want them done.  I made my own estate planner when I was in my 40s.  I update it every few years, and when the time comes, my niece should have all the information she needs to settle everything.

I shared my own book with my mom about five years ago and managed to talk her into letting me make one for her.  She has Alzheimers, and I was determined to have all the paperwork done before she lost the ability to make decisions for herself.  

There are all sorts of places to find a format to use for your information.  My lawyer suggested a book form Amazon, Peace of Mind Planner.  It's very good, and only $12.  I would suggest ripping it apart and putting it into a three-ringed binder.  That makes updates easier, and you can also delete sections that aren't relevant.

My own is a three-ringed binder with dividers.  The sections are:

  1. Vital Information
    • contacts
  2. Documents
    • will
    • memorandum
    • ids
  3. Finances
    • Power of Attorney, finances
    • accounts
  4. Medical
    • Power of Attorney, Power of Health Care
    • health care notes
    • insurance
  5. Final Disposition
  6. Beneficiaries
  7. Insurance
  8. Shut it Down
    • what to pay, close, cancel
It's important to update your information each year.  I keep a copy at home in my fire-safe box.  My niece has my both Power of Attorneys.  Being young, she preferred her copy to be on a memory stick. 

UWSP is offering an Estate Planning Workshop online on March 2, 2021 .  Find out more about it at: UWSP Estate Planning

And, yes, I do have a touch of OCD.


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