What information should my heirs have just in case

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bikechuck
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What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by bikechuck » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:59 pm

I have two adult daughters both of whom are financially responsible. If something were to happen to my wife and me my daughters would share in our estate 50/50 and they are named secondary beneficiaries on all of our investments, bank accounts etc.

Both daughters live in other states and I am wondering what information they should have regarding where our money is located. I am open with them about how much we have, however I want them to know where our portfolio is invested so nothing gets lost or overlooked when my wife and I pass.

Would a simple list of the financial institutions suffice? I would be interested in best practices for this situation.

afan
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by afan » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:04 pm

Assuming they have powers of attorney to manage your affairs when you cannot:

They should know the institutions and account numbers so they can actually do something when needed.


You may need to give each financial company the POA for your daughters on their own forms.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Who is your executor? I would think you would want that person to have that information.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

ResearchMed
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:09 pm

afan wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:04 pm
Assuming they have powers of attorney to manage your affairs when you cannot:

They should know the institutions and account numbers so they can actually do something when needed.


You may need to give each financial company the POA for your daughters on their own forms.
Also, just in case something happens to both of you such that you both pass (unlikely simultaneously, but still...), the PoA's (no matter what flavor), will no longer be valid.
At that point, hopefully you'd have trust docs set up such that your daughters could act.

PoA's are only valid while the person being represented is alive.
If you are quite open with your daughters and trust them, you might want to have those PoA's be DPoA's (DURABLE PoA), so that it is effective before/during/after any incapacitating event.
That way, there is no delay while there is some certification about your incapacitation.
(And a plain PoA would cease upon your incapacitation anyway...)

RM
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stan1
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:11 pm

- Estate plans including will, trust information, power of attorney, healthcare directives. Yes the financial institution may require the POA be on its own form.
- Financial institutions with account numbers and how POD designations are made
- Insurance policies (life, long term care, health) including copy of beneficiary designation
- List of personal items (including place where it is kept) that you believe have value (art, collectibles, antiques). Preparing a home for sale is very stressful for an heir especially from a distance. Knowing what items are valuable is very helpful.

ResearchMed
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:12 pm

Oh, don't forget the medical proxies, advance directives, etc.

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delamer
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by delamer » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:13 pm

Financial institution, account number, name account is under, and type of account (example — Vanguard, #123, Mom, IRA). Also add information on any debt and life insurance.

If you maintain financial records on a spreadsheet or software like Quicken, I’d make sure they know where to find those records.

If one or both of your daughters is not your executor, I’d give the executor the same information.

We have let our kids know what amounts to expect in the event of our deaths in the near-term, so they’ll know if they’ve received everything. We don’t have any reason to think anyone will deliberately rip them off, but things get overlooked as you said.

(I just had a conversation with our executor about all this, so it is fresh in my mind.)

stan1
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:15 pm

I forgot one:
How you want your services and remains to be handled, if you have a preference. People often don't like to talk about this. Recently a co-worker lost his wife of over 30 years while she was in her 50s. They had never discussed this topic so he wasn't sure what to do. The family figured it out and proceeded but their stress level would have been lower had they known.

PatrickA5
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by PatrickA5 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:26 pm

You might want to get some kind of planner book to record everything. I recently completed the Get it Together Planner (see Amazon). It's a notebook that contains everything from my Will, POA, Bank Accounts, Funeral directions, Insurance, all the way down to my magazine subscriptions. It took me quite a long time to complete everything, but once I (or both of us) die it's basically a cook book on everything that my heirs need to do and how to do it.

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Kenkat
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by Kenkat » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:45 pm

delamer wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:13 pm
Financial institution, account number, name account is under, and type of account (example — Vanguard, #123, Mom, IRA). Also add information on any debt and life insurance.

If you maintain financial records on a spreadsheet or software like Quicken, I’d make sure they know where to find those records.

If one or both of your daughters is not your executor, I’d give the executor the same information.

We have let our kids know what amounts to expect in the event of our deaths in the near-term, so they’ll know if they’ve received everything. We don’t have any reason to think anyone will deliberately rip them off, but things get overlooked as you said.

(I just had a conversation with our executor about all this, so it is fresh in my mind.)
We did something similar to this although the circumstances were flipped. It became increasing clear that my wife’s dad was losing track of his financial affairs. While we could still ask questions of him and get at least somewhat reliable answers, we did a full financial inventory for him and mom. It was just in spreadsheet form and contained:

Account
Owner/Registration
Account Number
Type (taxable, IRA, etc)
Balance
As of Date
Notes (contact names, if RMDs were being taken, etc)
Phone Number

We also listed monthly income (pension, social security, RMDs, dividends, annuities, etc.)

Finally, we listed any life insurance, savings bonds and final arrangements such as burial plots.

We gave a copy of this to all of my wife’s siblings. It proved to be a good move as within 6 months, dad forgot that he even had some of these accounts. Even acting when we did, it required a great deal of sleuthing to figure out, for example, oh, you are getting a dividend from Met Life. Where is that coming from? Oh, you have Met Life stock because you have on old life insurance policy with them and received stock when they de-mutualized.

We went ahead and created something similar for ourselves just so we would have it. It makes me wonder how much gets lost when people age and lose track of belongings. Oh, and don’t get me started on all the cash hidden in shoes, dresser drawers, robes, etc. Who knows if we got it all.

ResearchMed
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:52 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:45 pm
delamer wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:13 pm
Financial institution, account number, name account is under, and type of account (example — Vanguard, #123, Mom, IRA). Also add information on any debt and life insurance.

If you maintain financial records on a spreadsheet or software like Quicken, I’d make sure they know where to find those records.

If one or both of your daughters is not your executor, I’d give the executor the same information.

We have let our kids know what amounts to expect in the event of our deaths in the near-term, so they’ll know if they’ve received everything. We don’t have any reason to think anyone will deliberately rip them off, but things get overlooked as you said.

(I just had a conversation with our executor about all this, so it is fresh in my mind.)
We did something similar to this although the circumstances were flipped. It became increasing clear that my wife’s dad was losing track of his financial affairs. While we could still ask questions of him and get at least somewhat reliable answers, we did a full financial inventory for him and mom. It was just in spreadsheet form and contained:

Account
Owner/Registration
Account Number
Type (taxable, IRA, etc)
Balance
As of Date
Notes (contact names, if RMDs were being taken, etc)
Phone Number

We also listed monthly income (pension, social security, RMDs, dividends, annuities, etc.)

Finally, we listed any life insurance, savings bonds and final arrangements such as burial plots.

We gave a copy of this to all of my wife’s siblings. It proved to be a good move as within 6 months, dad forgot that he even had some of these accounts. Even acting when we did, it required a great deal of sleuthing to figure out, for example, oh, you are getting a dividend from Met Life. Where is that coming from? Oh, you have Met Life stock because you have on old life insurance policy with them and received stock when they de-mutualized.

We went ahead and created something similar for ourselves just so we would have it. It makes me wonder how much gets lost when people age and lose track of belongings. Oh, and don’t get me started on all the cash hidden in shoes, dresser drawers, robes, etc. Who knows if we got it all.
Don't forget to check each state's "lost money" division.

We recently found that MIL has "some" money in two states. One is where she had lived for decades before we moved her here.
Another was the state here, where we moved her. But she never lived here, so we don't yet know if she had some account co-owned with SIL or...?
(Her last name has an unusual spelling, and her first name was something her parents made up from an oddball/foreign situation, so it's unlikely but not impossible that this really is hers.)

And it turns out that we each found "lost money" of ours :happy
In all cases, the approximate amounts are not life-changing, and most of them are clearly very small amounts.

RM
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delamer
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by delamer » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:08 pm

Assuming you are the one mainly responsible for your family finances, does your wife have all the information that she needs in case you predecease her?

My dad had a binder with account lists (including shares, balances, phone numbers), pension and Social Security information, health insurance information, life insurance policies, cemetery plot information, etc.

Invaluable at a difficult time.

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FIREchief
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Re: What information should my heirs have just in case

Post by FIREchief » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:12 pm

Many good suggestions. I will add, that as a person starts to gather all of this, it's a great opportunity to looks for areas to streamline. Do you really want to leave that old stack of paper savings bonds, or can they be liquidated and invested in a TBM fund? Are there life insurance policies that can be surrendered for cash value? Do you really need accounts at two banks and two brokerages? Etc.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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