Planning for the Unexpected

If something terrible happens to you (and your spouse) tomorrow, how would anyone know where to start to sort through your papers? Do you have a list of contacts in case of emergency? Do these contacts know how to get started with supporting your family during this crisis?

When you were growing up, chances are that no one really explained all of the responsibilities that come with being an adult. We didn't get "adult training". And unless you have had the unfortunate experience of trying to piece together someone's administrative life, you aren't likely to know just what a challenge it can be.

Figuring out all of the details isn't rocket science, but since we weren't taught how to organize our lives that means everyone's preparedness is wildly different. 

For starters if you don't have a trust or a will, shame on you! Make that happen ASAP. Otherwise the state where you reside will get at least $30,000 just because all decisions about how to manage your affairs will be made by the state. The state charges based on the size of your estate. In some states, that's $30,000 just to get a judge to appoint the relative who logically would take care of your affairs. Do you really want to pay the state extra money? That's money that could be going to your loved ones. Get a will/trust now!

And then there is the challenge of getting anyone to help. If there isn't a Power of Attorney or Trustee appointed, all of your information is legally held in confidence. Back to the courts your loved ones go and paying more $$ just to get access to your bank accounts and investments.

I could prattle on and on about the pitfalls of not being prepared. Instead I ask that you reach out to a Daily Money Manager to help you. Life happens whether we plan for it or not. Whether you're alive and unable to manage your personal business or you have sadly passed, those who want to help can't (without great cost and agony) unless you take these steps to be prepared.