When Valentine’s Day creeps up on us, we run to buy a card and something to show our loved ones we care but while flowers and chocolates are nice gestures, they simply do not last. Wouldn’t it be better to give them something that would provide comfort and security? Forbes recently wrote an article 3 Non-Romantic but Vital Things to Do on Valentine’s Day which discusses just that.
- Give the gift of life insurance – Maybe you already have life insurance but is it enough if the worst were to happen to you? Would your family be taken care of? Is your current policy the most beneficial for your current situation?
- Review your beneficiary designations – Many people fill out beneficiary designation paperwork when they open a retirement account or a life insurance policy, submit them to the financial institutions and forget to revisit them when life changes. Designations should be revisited upon a new birth, marriage, divorce or death. Assets with beneficiary designations pass outside of your trust, so if you pass away without having looked at your designations, someone you may no longer want to inherit, will!
Also, you may want to consider adding a payment on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) designation to bank accounts so that when you pass, your loved one can access the specific asset upon showing a death certificate and avoiding the probate or trust administration processes.
- Execute estate planning documents – drafting documents is simply not enough! While intent is the first step, executing is what is important. While an estate plan is often thought of being important when someone dies, it is extremely important during life. An Advanced Healthcare Directive, otherwise referred to as a Healthcare Power of Attorney appoints an agent to act if you cannot make medical decisions for yourself. A Durable Power of Attorney appoints an agent to handle your financial affairs when you are not able. In addition, a Last Will and Living Trust should be created to protect your assets from probate and unnecessary estate expenses and tax.
While none of these suggestions are very romantic, your loved one will appreciate your longtime dedication to them and their financial security.