Here are some areas to consider in keeping your own estate organized.
- Estate documents. Review and update your will and beneficiary information. (This includes insurance policies, financial accounts and investments.)
- Death benefit proceeds. Rather than receive a lump sum payment, you may want to keep the money in a benefit account that works like an interest-bearing checking account. Or consider an annuity, which can pay you now or when you retire.
- Health insurance. If you had health coverage through your loved one’s company, contact the employer. You may be eligible to keep it at a reduced rate, or purchase COBRA. If you are no longer covered, you will need to investigate other plans.
- Life and Disability Insurance. If you are now your family’s primary provider, consider additional disability and/or life insurance. This will protect them and provide you peace of mind.
- Ownership changes. Make any necessary ownership changes to checking and savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards, vehicles, etc. This will require copies of the death certificate.
- Item locations. Tell loved ones where you keep important documents and items, including your safety deposit box and key.
- Assets, liabilities and personal information. Summarize essential information for your loved ones. Refer to Protective’s Personal and Financial Summary for assistance.