Let’s Recap! In Part One Of How to Avoid the Morbid Scavenger Hunt we talked about organizing information and how to do so. This week I’d like to continue our discussion and go over how consolidating your assets can help avoid this scavenger hunt.

This tip might not be helpful for everyone, but for those of you that have or have loved ones that have accounts with multiple institutions, did you know that this can be more costly than keeping all your accounts with one institution. 

It can be more costly for two reasons, more institutions can mean more fees, and then later on it can be more costly when it comes to estate administration. 

Before consolidating any accounts please consult with your financial team, your financial advisors, your attorney, and your CPA to make sure this is the best approach for you. Consolidation may not be right for everyone for numerous reasons but can be greatly beneficial to others.

As always it’s key to communicate all this information with your “helpers”. These helpers can be your trustees, your financial POA, your health care agents, and/ or your personal representatives. These agents are going to be the ones rolling up their sleeves and doing the nitty-gritty when it comes to the administration of your estate in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away.

Here are some things to share with these agents.

  • Information you have gathered on your accounts.
  • How to care or what to do with pets if you can no longer care for them.
  • Information on your home’s utilities and vendors you may use.
  • Your digital accounts and assets.
  • Any and all funeral plans.

Whether these are things that get addressed in a conversation while you are alive or get written down, they are all important items to inform your agents of and have a system in place so that the appropriate people have access.

The last tip I have for you is to REVIEW your estate plan, I know I have talked about this before, but it is a crucial part of estate planning. You may be tempted to get organized once and then not touch your documents again, but I encourage you to continually update and stay on top of everything. It is well worth it in the long run and will help fight against your loved ones having to go through the morbid scavenger hunt.

I hope that this information can help you when it comes to your journey of empowering your legacy!