TOP 10 THINGS TO
“CHECK OFF” BEFORE YOU
Life and Health Insurance Foundation (LIFE) for Education
The last thing you want to have happen during your end of life
period is burdening your family with all kinds of financial,
legal and logistical problems.
Here are 10 tips from David Woods,
president of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education
(LIFE) to make your end of life easier for
you and your loved ones.
HAVE A WILL and update it periodically.
The will designates executors, guardians and trustees, which are all
important to review periodically. Your executor’s first task is to locate your
will, and you can help by keeping the original in a fairly obvious place. A
good start is to put your will in an envelope on which you have typed
your name and the word “WILL.” You should then place the envelope in
a fireproof metal box, file cabinet or home safe. An alternative is to put it
in a safe deposit box.
HAVE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES (LIVING WILL).
A living will is a medical directive written in advance that sets forth your
preference for treatment in the event of your inability to direct care. The
document may be drafted to include when the directive should be
initiated and who has the decision-making responsibility to withdraw or
HAVE A POWER OF ATTORNEY.
You should name your spouse or a close friend or relative to have power
of attorney for you. Whoever you designate will be authorized to manage
your affairs, typically financial ones, if you’re not able to handle them
HAVE LIFE INSURANCE.
Purchase adequate life insurance for yourself now to help your family
avoid financial pitfalls later. Having the right amount of coverage will help
ensure that the dreams you have for your family will be realized even if
you’re not there to witness them. Determining how much life insurance to
buy can be complicated, so it often helps to seek assistance from an
insurance agent or other financial advisor.
REVIEW BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS
for your various financial accounts (retirement, life insurance – both
personal and through work). Check annually to ensure those named in
your insurance policies, 401ks and the like are still relevant to your
needs and wishes. Many people are under the misconception that if they
have a will, they are covered. This is not true – beneficiaries designated
in documents generally fall outside the scope of a will so it is critical that
you keep your records updated.
SPECIFY WHERE IMPORTANT FINANCIAL ACCOUNT
INFORMATION IS LOCATED (savings, retirement, college funding,
It may sound like an obvious thing to do, but few people keep a list of
important records, and fewer still could name them all quickly in an
impromptu quiz. Keep a master list and review it annually. Include bank
accounts, mortgages, retirement plans, health care plans, investments,
SPECIFY WHERE IMPORTANT NON-FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND
VALUABLES ARE LOCATED
(marriage certificates, birth certificate, titles/deeds for the house/cars,
passports, jewelry, safe deposit box key, items in storage facilities)
SPECIFY YOUR FINAL ARRANGEMENTS
(burial or cremation, where you want to be buried,
whether you want to be an organ donor)
HAVE A LIST OF PROFESSIONALS who will assist you with your family’
s legal and financial affairs (insurance agent, attorney, accountant, etc)
EXPLAIN TO HEIRS how your trust works.
Trusts are often a useful legal and estate-planning device for protecting
from estate taxes and providing a vehicle to be sure survivors get
proper administrative and investment advice and counsel.
Insurance issued by Principal Life Insurance Company and the companies
available through the Preferred Product Network, Inc. Securities and
advisory products offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation,
800/247-4123, member SIPC. Principal Life, the Preferred Product
Network and Princor(R) are members of the Principal Financial Group®,
Des Moines, IA 50392.
“My personal mission is to give back to the community including using my
business knowledge and expertise to help others achieve personal success.”
Janet L Heitzig, CLU, ChFC, CLTC
Principal Financial Group
14755 N Outer 40-Ste 110
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Phone 636-449-0734 Fax 1-866-488-0903
Securities and advisory products offered through Princor Financial
Services Corporation, 800-247-1737 , member SIPC, Des Moines, IA 50392.
Senior Strategies, L.L.C. is not an affiliate of Princor.
Princor Registered Representative, Financial Advisor, Financial Representative,
Principal Life Insurance Company.
Janet L. Heitzig, CLU, ChFC, CLTC
for sharing this ariticle with us.
Janet has studied extensively under Ed Slott,
nationally-known CPA, tax-advisor, and IRA planning expert.
(You may have seen Ed Slott programs on PBS.)
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