With the advent of spring and the warmer weather many of us are beginning our "spring cleaning." But we shouldn't limit our cleaning to sorting clothes and raking the leaves. Now is an excellent time to do a "spring" organization and review of our documents and paper work.
While it is important to set up and follow through on a system for recording bills and filing statements, it is also a good time to review beneficiary designations, insurance policies and legal documents. Specifically, if you've executed a trust, will, health care proxy or financial power of attorney it is important to locate these documents and make sure that they still reflect your current wishes. If you've never executed these documents or need to make revisions now is a good time to make an appointment with your family attorney.
With respect to beneficiary designations, you should review your bank account titles and account types. If there is the opportunity to make revisions or beneficiary designations you should go over this with your banker. Keep in mind that the type of account you have affects not only how the account is accessed while you are alive but what happens to the account upon death. Similarly, you should review the title and beneficiaries on all of your investment accounts to make sure your wishes are so designated.
Finally, the beginning of spring is great time to review with your insurance agents and brokers your current policies. Consider going over health, life, disability, major medical, auto, homeowners, umbrella, and even long term care insurance policies. Discuss the types of coverage, any coverage limits and how to go about instituting a claim should the situation arise.
If you put in to place an effective system now you will not only ensure that your wishes are effectuated but you may alleviate the stress on your loved ones should an emergency or crisis arise that requires them to make decisions on your behalf.