We speak a lot about how uncomfortable conversations regarding end of life can be. Oftentimes, people will even avoid creating the proper legal documents or discussing their wishes with loved ones. Although drawing up a Will can be emotionally difficult, Forbes includes a great point in a recent article, stating that this task becomes especially difficult when one partner passes away. Senior vice presidents and financial advisors at RBC Wealth, Cinda J. Collins and Deborah Johnston provide valuable information in this article regarding how couples can approach estate planning together. They also speak about what a surviving spouse can do in the event their partner passes.
First, they encourage readers to start with a drafted Will by an experienced estate planning attorney. Next, they suggest opening a bank account in your name. Joint bank accounts may be frozen when a spouse passes away. Having a separate account will be crucial in order to pay immediate expenses. You can also put your joint account into a trust, which will allow for faster access to the funds upon the passing of one spouse. Collins and Johnston also suggest updating beneficiaries and titles of ownership. They advise that couples should also ensure the beneficiaries in the will match those listed on the assets themselves. The beneficiary listed on the asset takes precedent. The last tip mentioned is to have a good support system. Having a group of experts like estate lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors will make a big difference by ensuring the estate planning process runs smoothly. You can read more about each of these tips by viewing the article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/rbcwealthmanagement/2015/06/02/the-widows-guide-to-estate-planning-and-wealth-transfer/.
As with any planning, a good way to begin is to seek competent advice from a qualified professional. At Tully Law, P.C., we are dedicated to helping you find solutions to your estate planning and long-term care concerns. Please call (631) 424-2800 for a consultation.