1. Ask. Ask the right questions. What are my planning goals? Who can and should act for me if I cannot? How will the needs of my spouse or children be meet after I am gone?
2. Collect. Collect the necessary documents. Get updated statements for accounts, investments, and insurance. Get updated contact information for advisors and planners. Review bank statements. Check beneficiary designations. If changes have been requested, make certain that they were actually made by the financial company.
3. Inventory. Inventory your assets and debts. What do you own and who do you owe?
4. Update. Update your essential documents. Do you have a Will, Trust or Power of Attorney? When is the last time you read these documents? Is there anything in them that you do not understand? Do they still fit your plan and goals?
5. Seek. Seek help where needed. Work with a tax planner. Set annual meetings with doctors and financial planners. Consult with an attorney when estate documents are needed or updates are necessary.
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