A series of unfortunate eventsSubmitted by Financial Planning Solutions, LLC on September 27th, 2018
In a previous blog article, I mentioned an investment property I bought way back in 1982
In that post, I mentioned how I was cleaning out the basement and there were actually items there that came with the house when I bought it.
Today, I want to talk about something else that came with the house. Two sisters that actually still live there today. In fact, they have lived there for over 70 years.
They were young girls when then moved in and when their parents passed away, they were in high school and just stayed there. The both got jobs and just carried on.
Needless to say, over the years they have become like family to me. They don't have any other living relatives and just have each other.
Although they are in their mid to late 80's, they have been doing pretty well. That is up until recently. One is developing more physical issues and the stairs are becoming more challenging. The other has developed some cognitive issues and that seems to be getting worse.
Here at FPS we stress the importance of having a good comprehensive financial and estate plan.
In my "day job" I provide advice surrounding a myriad of issues related to "stuff" happening. With my tenants I can envision a series of unfortunate events transpiring.
Here's what we are dealing with now. One of these sisters needs to add the other to her checking account. If something happens to her (and unfortunately, when one is close to 90, it is not "if" but "when"), the other wouldn't have access to her account. She wouldn't be able to pay bills and worse, wouldn't be able to access funds.
Seems simple right? Head on down to the bank and add her on to the account. Well….her driver's license expired many years ago and when I called the bank to see what was needed, they told me a valid picture ID.(We were actually walking out the door to go to the bank when I asked her if she had her license and that opened the can of worms).
To get a picture ID (either a license, or non-driver's license through the registry or a passport) you need certain documentation.A birth certificate for one and a Social Security card. Well, she has neither. That means obtaining those items first and then planning a day at the registry of motor vehicles. Fun!
When I asked if either of them had life insurance, annuities, or a retirement plan (all of which has beneficiary provisions) they weren't sure. If they do, and a beneficiary isn't named, this money could end up going to the state. (They have no other living relatives and even if they did, without naming a beneficiary directly, it could take years to get that all sorted out). I'm sure they would prefer any money they may have going to a charity or to their church.
This much I do know. I have helped many families settle estates after one passes and it is infinitely easier to do so if certain things are in place before one actually passes away or becomes incapacitated.
If you have a shadow of a doubt whether your financial and estate plan are well positioned to avoid any pitfalls, please reach out to us.
Or if you have questions or would like to talk about your goals or concerns or if you know anyone you think should speak with us, we are simply a phone call or email away.
All the best.
Rick Fingerman, CFP®, CDFA®, CCPS®
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client after entering into an advisory relationship.
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