A COVID-19 WAKE-UP CALL
If nothing else, COVID-19 is a wake-up call about how precarious life can be and how quickly things can change.
While you are at home and looking for something to do, do yourself and your family a good deed by making it is easier for them should you become incapacitated or pass away. Otherwise, your family will be subjected to a scavenger’s hunt.
Here is the list of items to compile. It is not intended to be exhaustive, but it will help a lot.
1. Print out a recent statement for each of your financial assets, including the name of the financial institution, address, telephone number, account number, and value.
2. List all your real estate holdings, together with the deed or real estate tax bill. If mortgaged, copy of recent invoice showing name, address, telephone number and account number of lender, together with payment amount and balance.
3. Prepare a list of all your life insurance policies, with name of insurer, address, telephone number, policy number, cash value, death benefit, and beneficiaries.
4. Copy of a recent statement from each of your creditors, showing name, address, telephone number and account number for each of your lenders, with amount of debt. A print-out of your credit report is a good idea.
5. Name of all other insurance companies (homeowners, disability, long term care, etc.), together with address, telephone number, and account number of each. Also premium due date and approximate amount.
6. Name and contact information of all your professional advisors – attorneys, CPAs, investment advisors, insurance agents, etc.
7. Location of original Will, and location of original or copies of all estate planning documents.
8. Login information (user name and passwords) of all your digital accounts (except those you do not want them to have access to), especially financial accounts. Before your representative exercises this right, an attorney should be consulted in order not to violate the law.
9. Copy of your most recent Tax Return for yourself and all affiliated entities.
10. Send the list to your advisors, but let several family members know who this is. One of the family members should not live with you.
11. Make sure that your spouse or someone else has signatory authority on your business accounts.
12. Finally, if you do not have a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Surrogate, consult your estate planning attorney.
Good luck, be careful, and stay well!
We are all in this together. We will get through this together!