Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What if Something Happened?

No one wants to think about death. It is a tough topic to approach with family members and some believe it should be avoided at all costs. Sadly, we have been in this position too many times. However, for the sake of family and loved ones, this is the time for the lawyer, financial planner and accountant to get together and get together fast.

The following is our checklist, knowing full well that all clients have procrastinated and had not paid attention to details:
  1. Does the family know all the user names and passwords that they may need on an immediate basis?
  2. Make sure the family is fully prepared to pay upcoming life insurance premiums, health insurance premiums, disability insurance premiums, long-term care insurance premiums, homeowners and auto insurance premiums, real estate taxes and college tuition payments.
  3. Will there be adequate cash immediately available for a surviving spouse or minor children while the estate administration process is taking place?
  4. Immediate review of the client's Will, Trusts, Health Care Power of Attorney and Property Power of Attorney to make sure all documents are in compliance.
  5. If the client is a business owner, review the business succession plan. If he has co-owners, the buy-sell agreement may need to be tweaked.
  6. Coordinate all titling and beneficiary designations to coordinate with the estate plan documents, including life insurance, IRA's, qualified plans, transfer-on-death designations, joint tenancy, tenancy by the entirety, etc.
  7. Can probate be eliminated, and if so, what changes need to be made to accomplish that?
  8. Is there a burial plot?  Have funeral arrangements been made and prepaid?

When it comes to getting affairs in order before death, most people know what to do; they just don't know what documents to keep, where to store them, and who they should tell.

KOS has created a guide to help understand the documents you need to establish and gather to ensure that your heirs can find them after you are gone. It will capture the efforts you have arranged to know that your wishes are carried out and that your family members and beneficiaries are not left with any unanswered questions. The guide is available in print or PDF. If you would like to receive a copy of this guide please contact Kristin Kentra, Marketing Director at or 847-580-4100. As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your options and plans, please contact your KOS Advisor.

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