Do you remember the first time you saw “Boyz in the Hood” or “Poetic Justice”? These classic films of the 90s marked the beginning of the incredible career of phenomenally talented producer John Singleton. Earlier this week, Singleton, age 51, succumbed to complications suffered from a stroke. As a financial advisor, I immediately wondered if his financial affairs were in order, especially with his death being unexpected.
While comatose, news reports started to surface about Singleton’s mother requesting temporary conservatorship in order to make financial decisions on his behalf. Her request was met with opposition by family members including some of Singleton’s children. At the time of submission of this article, reports confirmed that Singleton had indeed prepared a final will and testament.
Although millions of dollars are not always at stake, the above circumstances happen with families every day. A loved one passes away unexpectedly, and the family is left scrambling to find evidence of the deceased’s final wishes. I continually stress to my clients, family and friends that planning ahead will not only save your loved ones time but can diminish the amount of stress and heartache. Here are a few steps to get started with your planning:
- Discuss your plans with your loved ones. Whether it’s your spouse, partner, significant other, children, etc., someone needs to be fully informed of your final wishes. Take the time to sit down and write out instructions for distribution of your assets, savings, investments, etc. List the location of policies and other important paperwork, account numbers and other pertinent information so that designees have access upon your passing.
- Meet with a Financial Advisor. Your financial advisor can review your final wishes and assist with long-term planning including setting financial goals for retirement and a plan for disbursement of your assets in the event of your death.
- Make decisions on a will and/or trust. Your financial advisor and attorney can assist with the development of your will and/or trust. Be sure to discuss all options and determine which options best align with your final requests.
- Periodically update your documents. Your financial situation and/or beneficiaries may change over time. Be sure to revisit your final request documentation annually to ensure that everything is current.
While death is never an easy subject, the steps you take now can make the process much easier for your loved ones and can help ensure that all of your final requests are met.
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*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.