The morbid scavenger hunt is not something to take lightly, while it can be difficult if you find yourself in the midst of one there are some things you can do to make it easier, and steps you can help loved ones and yourself take to avoid it altogether.
For those of you trying to avoid putting your loved ones through this horrible hunt the first tip we have for you is to be organized, organization is the key to avoid this hunt! We recommend keeping track of your assets in a spreadsheet. It’s not enough to simply list out your assets, but you also need to keep it updated and include pertinent information such as tax basis.
It used to be common practice to keep paper files for everything, but now with everything being digital, it’s vital that the appropriate people have access to these files. If you get paper statements keep everything neatly together, and if you get electronic copies, print or download these files to your devices.
For those of you handling a morbid scanger hunt here are some things you can do and look for to make your search easier.
Look in wallets and purses, at all of their cards, in filing cabinets and desk drawers. You can even try to contact former employers to find out about benefits they may have had. Tax returns are also a great source of information.
Getting organized helps show us how things are set up. We may think that things were titled one way or another or that certain beneficiaries have been designated, but with everything laid out, it gives a clear picture and helps catch any outdated information. Often we come across situations where there are unintended beneficiaries, part of being organized and frequently reviewing our documents helps prevent this situation.
We want to make sure your estate plan and the way your assets are set up are coordinated so that your plan works the way that you intend!