Adventures in Retirement Show this article to your children

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on November 04, 2014 with No Comments

“A clear understanding of all your instructions, lists and locations of important papers is critically important to your heirs.”

Wills and trusts help seniors distribute assets after they die.  However, there are many special desires and instructions that are better communicated by means of written instructions.

Locations of important papers, accounts, deeds, pre-paid funerals, safety deposit boxes, insurance policies, etc., need to be disclosed in a way that your spouse or children can find them.  Also, your instructions must be written clearly enough for your heirs to understand what you want.  Most important is that your spouse, children or other heirs know where your instructions are.

Your spouse and children are not likely to want to look at instructions and lists of important papers because they don’t want to think about your demise.

However, a clear understanding of all your instructions, lists and locations of important papers is critically important to your heirs.  A failure here could result in your heirs not being able to get your insurance, or not being able to use a pre-paid funeral, or not being able to follow instructions regarding important things you want done.

Type on your computer or write down a complete list of assets, insurance policies, accounts, birth certificates, marriage certificate, tax returns, special instructions and other important papers.  First Source Bank and most other local banks have instructions that describe what you should include in your lists.

When you have a first draft of your instructions, have your spouse or children read through it to make sure that they understand everything in the instructions.  Have them locate important papers, deeds, insurance policies, etc., based on your instructions.  This will assure that they can find everything they need without your help.

Make sure they know where the master list is.  Don’t put it somewhere a burglar would find it, but make sure your heirs know where it is.

You may even want to write your own obituary and a list of who you would want contacted in the event of your demise.

You will feel a lot better knowing that your being gone will not result in confusion and difficulty locating important papers and instructions.


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About Bill Leavitt


All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Bill Leavitt is a technical writer from Valparaiso. After retiring from a large corporation in Chicago, he did technical writing consulting for many companies. He currently teaches part-time at Purdue University Calumet. You can order Leavitt’s book, “Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure,” by sending $16.65 (includes shipping and sales tax) made payable to Write On Technical Writing, Inc., P.O. Box 132,Valparaiso, IN 46384-0132. Or, visit RetirementLifesGreatestAdventure.com for more information.

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