Legal Documents for College Students

For those of you that have a young adult headed off to college…  Do you have the necessary documents in place in the event your college student has a medical emergency or needs help with his or her finances?

I know of a situation where the college student went away to college to a remote mid-west state.  He fell ill and ended up in the hospital.  His mom and dad were not able to get any information from the hospital or the doctors as to his health because he had never executed the appropriate document to give his mom or dad access to his personal health information.  Don’t let this happen to you!

Practical Tasks for When a Loved One Passes Away

Some tidbits from Kiplinger’s about things that need to be done with a loved one passes away.

Note that it is not an all-inclusive list, just some thoughts on a few items!



10 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Great article from Kiplinger’s June 2018 issue!  The following is a bullet list of 10 Common Estate Planning Mistakes:

1 – Not naming contingent beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

2 – “Selling” Property for $1.00.

3 – Naming specific investments in your will.

4 – Not thinking through a well-intended gift.

5 – Leaving assets directly to a minor and not being clear as to how the assets are to be used.

6 – Not planning for the death of a beneficiary.

7 – Ownership mistakes and imbalances of husband/wife assets.

8 – Not having a residuary clause.

9 – Not planning for the unexpected.

10 – Not dealing with your own immortality.

Click on the link to read the specifics.

Estate Planning: Don’t Forget to Track Your Accounts and Passwords!

I’m not sure about others, but in many cases I no longer get paper statements whether it be for bills, insurance, investment accounts, etc.  So if something happens to me, how will my family know what assets I have?

The four main areas to track are:

1 – Financial Accounts;

2 – Human Resource Components;

3 – Internet Accounts; and

4 – Key Relationships.

In this digital day and age, it’s important that we leave “breadcrumbs” for our family to locate these assets.   As the attached article states, put all of this information in a single place and make it an annual ritual to update your list.





“Horror Stories: When You Die Without A Will”

I came across the attached article today and it highlights the extremes as to why everyone over the age of 18 should have a Will in place.  The lowdown:

1 – Death causes siblings/heirs to fight with each other.

2 – Mom or Dad remarries.  New husband or wife gets most everything.

3 – Life Partner gets no legal rights.

4 – Life Insurance ends up in the wrong hands.

5 – Heirs are left trying to find all of the deceased’s assets.

6 – Partner owes enormous taxes on property.

7 – Court filings and Probate process in general can be time consuming and expensive.

Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones!




Estate Planning for Nonparents

“Nonparents”.  Love this term!  Many of us are very fortunate to have people who are near and dear to our hearts that nurtured or influenced us.

For those who are nonparents, estate planning can be more difficult: Who will be your guardian if you become incapacitated?  Will there be anyone to take care of you?  Who do you trust to take care of your finances?  Who will you leave your  possessions to?

This quick article is a different perspective – leaving a legacy to everyone’s children.