Spring has officially sprung and that means it’s spring cleaning time! Shake out the rugs, clean out the cupboards, and get your legal and financial affairs in order too!
For plenty of folks, it’s easy to know what to do when it comes to home organization, but the idea of legal and financial ordering can be complex and confusing.
This article will give you a few places to start:
1. Review Your Beneficiary Designations
Request updated beneficiary designation forms from your life insurance account and retirement account custodians. Look at the form and identify whether you have a minor designated as either a primary or contingent beneficiary. If you do, those assets will be tied up in court unnecessarily, and may not be available to the people you’ve named to care for your children.
Consider designating your life insurance and retirement accounts to be distributed to a trust for the benefit of your heirs, providing Court and creditor protection, and ensuring your children do not inherit money before they are properly prepared.
2. Update Your Family Wealth Inventory
Your Family Wealth Inventory is where we document the assets that you own, so that in the event you become incapacitated or when you die, your family will know how to find what you own.
Without an updated Family Wealth Inventory, your assets could be lost to the state department of unclaimed property. There’s currently over $6 billion dollars of assets in the Texas state department of unclaimed property because most people do not leave a clear record of their assets at the time of their incapacity or death.
3. Consider If You Need to Name New Guardians (Long or Short-Term)
Review your guardian nomination designations. Have you named guardians for both the short-term (local) and the long-term (people you would trust to raise your kids fully)? If so, do they need to change? Is there anyone you would wish to exclude? Does the ID card for your wallet need to be updated? This is the time to check.
4. Check Out the Title to Your House
Get a copy of the deed to your house and make sure that your trust is listed as the owner on the deed, if you want your house to stay out of court in the event of your incapacity or death. If you see your personal name on the deed, and there is not a trust listed, you can be sure that would result in your house having to go through the court process of probate in the event of your death. If you don’t want that, now is the perfect time to spruce up your planning. In Texas, we have several options for planning for real estate to transfer easily, outside of court, to our preferred beneficiaries and using a trust is only one method. Ask us about the other options!
5. Come In and Meet With Us to Review Your Particular Situation
At Marquardt Law Firm, we don’t just draft documents, we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a no-cost consultation, also called a planning session, during which our attorneys will educate you on your options and help you identify an appropriate course of action towards fulfilling your goals. Begin by scheduling your planning session with one of our attorneys – limited spots available, call us today!