Throughout 2017, I placed emphasis on the importance of getting one’s estate in order both in our estate planning blogs and in our one-on-one meetings. I will continue this endeavor into 2018 as it is crucial for everyone to get organized. And what better time to take the plunge and get it together than in the New Year?
I want to spend some time discussing what we refer to in our digital organizer, “Getting It Together…Estate Organizer,” as My Wealth. This is all about your bills. Everyone has outgoing expenses they need to pay and the average person has several different companies or places to which they are making regular payments. This is likely something you already keep track of or may even have set to pay automatically from your bank account.
But, it is important to gather all of the information regarding your wealth into one place in order to see a complete picture of your monthly budget and to simplify your life. Additionally, this lightens the load of figuring out continuing payments should your spouse or loved one need to in the unfortunate event of your passing. I would even take it one step further and suggest you and your loved ones review this information once organized in preparation for such an event.
If you are unsure of where to begin when it comes to evaluating your financial situation, a good place to start is your bank account. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Your monthly bank statements can tell you where your money is really going and, more importantly, contains the establishments where you are spending money on a regular basis.
From there you can begin a record of all of these places and how much is being spent towards each of them. Some examples of these expenses include but are not limited to your:
- Mortgage Company
- Telephone Company
- Electric Company
- Internet Provider
- Gas Company
- Trash Removal and Recycling
- Cable/Satellite Provider
- Water Provider
- Security Provider
- Financial Lender
- Insurance Company
- Credit Card Company
Information that is important to have “on file” for each of these establishments includes anything that may be pertinent in order to continue their service into the future. For example, when gathering information on an automobile loan you would want to know the name of the lender, your account number, make/model of the vehicle, average monthly payment and the expected final payment date.
While acquiring this information and keeping it up-to-date may appear cumbersome, it will give you and your loved ones peace of mind knowing exactly where your money is going. I know this can be a large task which is why we created our digital organizer to help guide you through it. The My Wealth chapter of our organizer contains all of the above information in an organized and fillable format. It even contains a sample monthly budget chart. Plus it has helpful tips along the way (as seen in the picture).
If you think our firm or our organizer could be of use to you or a loved one in the process of getting an estate in order, we would love to make that happen. Visit the Contact Us page of our website to set a phone appointment or meeting. In the meantime, don’t wait, but instead begin 2018 by getting your estate in order, beginning with your wealth.
Until next time, cheers!