Are You a Responsible Adult?
Getting Your Financial Affairs in Order differs from individual to individual. For many of us, however, there are stark similarities depending on your age, stage of life and a number of other factors.
Interestingly, in our experience the size or dollar value of an estate is not what determines how complex or difficult it will be to execute. Nor does the varying number of beneficiaries add complexity and therefore time and costs. The single biggest factor that adds cost, time, frustration and family discord is if someone does not have their financial affairs in reasonable order.
Whether your are in your Roaring 20’s; The Earning Years – 30’s; Hitting your Stride – 40’s; Dialing it Back – 50’s; A Zoomer – 60’s and older, you have assets and obligations and people depending on you.
Every person over the age of majority needs a will and powers of attorney if they want to communicate their wishes or have someone act on their behalf if they are incapacitated.
You may believe that you do not have sufficient assets to require a will or that you are young and healthy and do not need powers of attorney. Although you expect that your parents will act on your behalf until the time you start you own family, the rest of the world may not see it that way. You are an adult and have the rights and responsibilities that go along with that.
At a minimum, check with your bank about their requirements to release assets if you are not able to access them. Your financial institution will have policies and procedures in place detailing the right to access your assets depending on the amount held. If they require your will to be probated or a power of attorney if you are incapacitated, before releasing your assets, then someone will have to incur legal costs to obtain that right.
As well, your digital footprint will need to be addressed. Check out the posts in the Digital Evolution section for more information.
And finally without a will and personal effects memorandum, your loved ones will have to deal with your personal effects and decide on the distribution of sentimental treasures.
As a responsible adult, Getting Your Affairs in Order, will include:
- A valid will and powers of attorney.
- The selection of an Executor who will have the time and skills to undertake the responsibilities.
- Documentation of your assets and obligations, their location and how to access them, to be stored along with your important papers.
In future posts we will address more specific issues of the different stages of life.