Everything is fine until it isn’t. Then we can find ourselves scrambling for solutions. Being prepared with key estate planning documents is critical since the aging process is different for everyone. At Mosaic Fi our drumbeat is about planning. Whether it is a financial plan, estate plan, or even a career plan, you are more likely to experience success if you are prepared.
When it comes to our parents there are many things that can go wrong. It can seem overwhelming, especially since many parents make it clear that they do not want our involvement in their financial life. Fortunately, there are five documents that can smooth the way in almost every situation.
Some of us have already experienced a time when we needed the legal documentation in order to act on behalf of a parent. Now, more than ever, it is important to check that those documents are relevant to current law and tax code (things have changed!). Many of our parents’ documents were executed decades ago.
It is also important that the wording in these documents provide the necessary access and decision-making authority. Your attorney can review existing documents and suggest necessary changes.
These 5 documents contain everything you need to make decisions on behalf of another:
While not critical, the following documents are good to have on hand:
Other Important Details to Consider for your Parents
Can we talk about IRA beneficiaries for a minute? People believe their Will determines the disposition of all their assets. It absolutely does not. The disposition of an IRA is determined only by the beneficiary designation.
It is very important to review beneficiary designations. If circumstances have changed within your family from the time the beneficiaries were initially set up you may want to make changes to the designations.
We advise asking your financial advisor or institution for a current copy of the beneficiary designation on file. The financial services industry has experienced many mergers and the resulting system changes. Their ability to maintain records shouldn’t be relied on. Better safe than sorry.
And finally, make sure you keep the documents in a secure place. We can house our clients’ important documents in our Mosaic Fi Client Portal.
Feel free to call us with any questions.