Getting Organized will Help Your Sanity - Protect Yourself
May 30, 2022
Organizing your financial life will help you feel more in control. After all, you've had a lot on your mind and, hopefully, the dust has settled a bit. Use this list to assure your accounts and assets are properly titled/updated and/or closed and that your estate planning documents reflect your wishes going forward. It's easy to overlook these finer details yet they are extremely important.
- Joint checking, savings and investment accounts
- Joint credit cards or cards that you authorized your former spouse to use (make sure they are paid off first)
- Vehicles and boats- and sign a beneficiary deed (obtain from DMV)
- Home ownership - and consider a transfer-on- death beneficiary deed (consult an attorney or laws in your state for specific information)
- Beneficiaries on new checking, savings and investment accounts
- Beneficiaries on life insurance policies (group and individual)
- Will, medical directives, financial and medical powers of attorney, trust
- All digital passwords and PIN numbers
- Employee benefits department with emergency contacts and your single tax filing status (W-4)
- Health insurance options if previously covered under your former spouse’s employer medical coverage. You may be able to stay on COBRA for up to 36 months if the employer has >20 employers. It’s generally more expensive, however. Check out your options under the Affordable Care Act here.
- Social security benefits if you are 62 or older. If married for at least 10 years you may be eligible for some of your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefit. More information here.
- Your free credit reports for accuracy.
Maintain copies of all documents in a safe place, and let your loved ones know where they are stored, whether in a physical or digital file. Take a deep breath!