Hi, Bob Carlson here.
Change can be an opportunity. Or it can lead to hardship. The difference often depends on how well you and your loved ones adapt and adjust. You know big changes are on the way for your retirement plan, your estate, and the investment markets.
I’ve said many times the best gift you can leave your heirs is a book of key financial and personal data. Your executor needs to know all the details about your finances – which accounts you own, key facts about them, and where to find the paperwork.
Loved ones also need to know about your debts and other assets you own, such as real estate, businesses, even hobbies and collections.
It is especially important for heirs to have your financial information readily available. Many decisions need to be made when processing an estate. Delays often cost money. Decisions made without all the facts can be wrong – and expensive.
Yet, few estate planners encourage providing this information as part of the plan.
That’s why I created what’s become my most popular report, To My Heirs: A Book of Financial Wishes and Instructions. It will help you gather all the facts in one place. Beginning with suggestions and instructions, the pages prompt you to complete all the information you and your heirs need.
The book also has additional tools, including a “My Survivors’ Checklist” and “Estate Processing Checklist,” to guide your heirs when you aren’t around. It also explains how you can maximize its benefits, including supplementing it with copies of key documents.
There’s also an easy to use spreadsheet, with tabs/worksheets, in the file for different subject areas including: Documents, Financial Information, Home Information, Subscriptions and more. All you’ll have to do is enter the information in the appropriate cells within the spreadsheet.
An advantage of the spreadsheet is that the file can also be stored in the way that’s most convenient for you and makes it accessible to those who might need it. You can keep it on your hard drive, on a portable drive, or on a cloud account.
Most people think that a will or living trust does the job. But those documents, while essential, only do part of the job. To wind up an estate, a number of people must be contacted. An inventory of assets must be assembled. Debts have to be listed and paid.
Someone has to decide how to manage the assets. You might know exactly what there is and what to do, but you won’t be around to tell anyone. That’s why you should leave a clear record with all the details.
You will gain immediately from having this and other information in one place. No more trying to remember or find details such as account numbers, phone numbers, web addresses, or looking for other key information.
If you don’t have an estate plan yet or need to update one, the workbook and spreadsheet saves time and money. You and your estate planner will develop a better plan at a far lower cost when you complete the workbook and spreadsheet first, and gather the suggested documents. Give the package to your estate planner, and you’ll be farther along than most people, saving a lot of fees.
It will also help in your daily financial decisions. All the basic information about your accounts, assets, and other financial matters is in one place.
You won’t spend time hunting through files or papers for account numbers and contact information. Your time will be spent making decisions and managing your finances.
Your heirs will know exactly where to find everything they’ll need, and then some. They’ll know whom to contact and what to ask. All that will save a lot of time and anguish plus legal and accounting fees.
Download the 22 page PDF copy of To My Heirs and the To My Heirs digital spreadsheet now for only $34.99.