To organize your life’s goals and priorities, it is necessary that your paperwork is in good order. The documents that define your financial life must not be scattered around the house. They need to be filed and stored securely and conveniently for easy reference. If the documents are in digital form; it is imperative that they are backed up regularly.
If you ultimately decide to work with us, we will ask that you bring in a variety of these documents. It is necessary for us to review your assets, liabilities, income, investments, and any insurance that you may have. It may feel daunting to gather these materials, but each individual situation is different and must be evaluated on its own merit. Below, is a partial list of some of the documents that we might request:
- Declarations Pages of Homeowner’s, Auto, Umbrella and Life Insurance Policies.
- Long Term Care Insurance Policy.
- Real Estate Holdings (Including Cost Basis).
- Recent Statements or Printouts of Investment Accounts That List Current Value, Cost Basis and Titling Specifics.
- Detailed Information on IRA’s or 401(K)’s Including Beneficiary Information.
- Estate Planning Documents Such as Wills, Trusts, And Powers of Attorney.
- Documents Illustrating Titling of Real Property Within A Trust.
- Mortgage and Loan Documents, Including All Credit Car and Auto Loan Statements.
Spending Analysis is also paramount. We provide budgeting worksheets to assist you with itemizing regularly occurring expenditures. As you write them down, you will begin to see specifically where your money goes. Some expenses are less obvious than others, so we urge you to carefully examine everything. We attempt to produce a budget that reasonably reflects your spending patterns. We take an inventory of your assets and compare it to your list of needs vs. wants. Have you been replacing your car every five years? Is that a necessity or a desire?
We will make copies of your documents and return all originals. At home, you should maintain a filing system in a safe that includes all policies and important documents. We can assist with developing a system that also addresses instructions and procedures that should be followed in the event of an emergency. This will give children and relatives a starting point should an emergency occur. For instance, on the front page of your Information Binder, would be instructions to contact your Financial Planner for further information on the documents contained within the binder. It would also list other team members such as a CPA or the Attorney that drafted the will or trust. Beneficiary designations would also be spelled out clearly for accounts and insurance policies.
As you can see, being prepared and organized with your financial affairs can really prove beneficial during an unexpected event or emergency. It can make a difficult time infinitely easier on your family, too.