I’ve been baffled as I discuss amongst friends and family how little many of them know about the finances of their family. Some of them only know how to access their joint checking/savings account and the amount and provider of their spouse’s life insurance. My parents recently asked me to be the executor for their estate. However, they gave me no actual information to guide me.
Are you married? Do you know everything that your spouse knows with regard to your joint and separate assets and liabilities? Do you know how to access the accounts? Do you know where to find important paperwork? Do you know where to find the safe deposit box key and do you have permission to access the box?
We recommend compiling a list of all your accounts and trusted advisers’ contact information and keeping it in a secure place where your loved ones can find it in case you suddenly pass away or become incapacitated. Especially with the proliferation of technology, it’s important to make sure your loved ones can access everything from your banking accounts to your social media accounts, should that prove necessary.
Are you the executor for your parents’ will? Have you thought about also getting a list of all their information? It may feel awkward, but if they should pass away you will need to put together the pieces and it can be very time intensive. Plan now for tomorrow to save yourself some stress at a time when the focus should be on grieving, honoring, and celebrating life.
We suggest gathering personal information and leaving it with a loved one.
Here are some examples of pertinent information:
Important contacts (e.g., financial adviser, estate attorney, accountant)
Location of your safety deposit boxes and keys. Make sure a loved one has access privileges
Computer and social media passwords
Location of your important documents (e.g., will/trust, passport, Social Security card, house deed, vehicle titles)
List of all bank and investment accounts
List of all credit cards and outstanding debt
List of all outstanding bills you pay on a regular basis
Insurance policy information
Employer contact information (e.g., regarding employee benefits) Modera has created a data template to help you organize the information for your loved ones
If you have any questions, please reach out to your Wealth Manager. Additional resources to assist you and your family with personal information compilation and conservation:
Anna is responsible for managing external firm communications and supporting growth initiatives. She has completed the six classes that comprise the CFP® professional education program through the College for Financial Planning.
Modera Wealth Management., LLC is an SEC registered investment adviser with places of business in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. SEC registration does not imply any level of skill or training. Modera may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements.
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This article is limited to the dissemination of general information about Modera’s investment advisory and financial planning services that is not suitable for everyone. Nothing herein should be interpreted or construed as investment advice nor as legal, tax or accounting advice nor as personalized financial planning, tax planning or wealth management advice. For legal, tax and accounting-related matters, we recommend you seek the advice of a qualified attorney or accountant. This article is not a substitute for personalized investment or financial planning from Modera. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass, and the information herein should not be considered a solicitation to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy. The statements and opinions expressed in this article are subject to change without notice based on changes in the law and other conditions.