Anthony Brown

Why Parenting Partners Need To Save Financial Records

Hindsight is 20/20.  While most people do not think about, much less prepare for, their unexpected death, I can guarantee you that a little pre-planning will save you a lot of time and a lot of money upon the death of a loved one.  This is particularly important when it comes to parenting partners, who may not live together and therefore may not be aware of where each is keeping his/her financial documents.

Knowing what information to is crucial to streamlining the asset transfer process after death.  Different states have different probate requirements, but one thing is certain, the more preparation you do, the easier the transition from a co-parenting unit to a single parent home.

Make sure that you have all of your financial information located in one place and, if there are designated beneficiaries for any of your insurance policies, 401(k) accounts or IRA accounts, have a list of those beneficiaries with their related accounts of policies.  The easiest way to collect this information is to keep a copy of a recent financial statement (a bank statement, a mortgage coupon, a brokerage statement, a 401(k) statement or an insurance policy premium payment) in a folder you keep in a safe place.

You should also include and share with your parenting partner a current family tree which includes all relatives out to first cousins, with their contact information.  Some states require that the closest living relative of a decedent be notified upon the death of a relative.

If you are concerned about ensuring that this information stays safe, you may want to have your attorney keep this information for you at his or her office.  Knowing that you have this information in one place not only creates peace of mind, but it may significantly lessen the amount of time and money that it takes to distribute your estate upon your death.

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