Financial Readiness Part 2

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Last week I wrote on article titled “Financial Readiness Checklist:  Part 1.”  I was inspired by Eric Upchurch in a meeting where Eric described the mission of ADPI and his goals for this community.
Eric explained to our team here at NCH how important it is for our military community to be financially ready.  Eric explained that before deployment, he would always go through a checklist for his family.  The checklist isn’t a “One & Done” item.  Having the knowledge and education to not only set things up properly, but also knowing what items you need to keep up to date.  
A very good friend of mine just passed a few weeks ago after a two-year battle with cancer.  He knew the day was coming and created a checklist for his wife.  A couple days ago, his wife called and was locked out of their checking account.  We had his Revocable Living Trust done, but he forgot a few key items.  The mortgage payment, utilities, and several other bills are due April 1st, but his wife was locked out of the bank account.
You see, John did his estate plan, had the Revocable Living Trust and Will completed, but neglected to add his accounts to the trust.  The way the estate plan is structured, nothing is going to go through probate, however, in order to access the accounts, his surviving spouse now has to get a “Letter of Testamentary” to provide to the bank.  This is costing her time, money, and sleepless nights.
Here’s a list of the very important items to add to your trust:
  •       Checking Account
  •       Savings Account
  •       Brokerage Account
  •       Insurance Policies
  •       Retirement Accounts (IRA, TSP, 401k, etc.)
  •       Primary Residence
  •       Raw Land
  •       Corporations or LLC’s 
I didn’t include vehicles in the list.  However, you could certainly title vehicles in the name of the trust if you choose.  Many of you have completed your Revocable Living Trust & Will documents but have loose ends that need to be tied up.  Take a few minutes today to double check these items.  Every year when you hear the words “APRIL 15th,” let this serve as a reminder:  Taxes are due and update the estate plan.

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DISCLAIMER: The above material has been prepared for informational purposes only, containing opinions of the provider, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consider consulting tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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