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Let’s say there is a “traditional” scenario where the husband, Jim, works outside of the home and his wife, Annie, takes care of the children and the home. In this “traditional” scenario, Jim feels it is his responsibility to provide for his family and, as part of that, to take care of all the finances. He manages the bank accounts, the rental properties, the LLC that owns the rental properties, the investments, paying the bills, etc. Jim is happy to relieve Annie of this responsibility and she is happy not deal with it. But, what happens if Jim dies first?
Does Annie even know what financial institutions hold their money? What if paper statements don’t come in the mail? How is she going to track down the accounts? Even if she knows which institutions they transact business with, does she have the necessary login information? It could take months for Annie to track down all of the financial information she needs. And, while Annie is performing this morbid scavenger hunt, she is grieving for her husband and continuing to raise the children. While Jim was trying to protect Annie, he has unintentionally caused her a great deal of additional stress and anxiety at an already stressful time.
Don’t let this happen to you. With proper estate planning and counselling, you can minimize unintended consequences, leave your legacy how you want, to whom you want, and the way you want.
If you have questions about your estate planning, don’t hesitate to call 407-977-8080 or visit our website HoytBryan.com.
About the Author: Peggy Hoyt Peggy R. Hoyt practices in the areas of family wealth and legacy counselling, including trust and estate planning and administration, elder law, small business creation, succession and exit planning, real estate transactions and animal law.