"Death does not have to be treated as an enemy for you to delight in life." - Ram Dass
"A generic statement made in better times has little bearing on the complex and emotionally wrenching choices that arise when a life is in the balance." - Virginia Morris
You bought the life insurance policy, had the estate documents drafted, hired the right investment managers. You’ve talked with your family about your final wishes, probably more than they’d like to hear, and you trust them to make the right decisions on your behalf. You’ve looked at the big picture and you feel confident everyone is going to be taken care of.
Here are the SIX questions you need to consider to prepare your family for the immediate-term impact of your death, those critical days and weeks as they are regaining their balance without you:
Questions for your financial advisors
In the case of my/my spouse’s death...
- Which accounts, specifically checking and credit, will be continuously available to my next of kin and which will need retitling?
- When will insurance payouts be made available and what is the process for transferring those assets?
- How will ongoing income streams be impacted in the initial 30, 60 and 90 days?
Questions for your family
In the case of my/my spouse’s death…
- What are the regular monthly, quarterly and annual payments or transfers? Are those originating accounts impacted by retitling or estate settlement issues in the immediate term?
- What is the current process for payments or transfers and how might that change?
- Who will be responsible for covering costs associated with funeral, burial, memorial services before the estate’s assets are made available? What type of guidance do they want or need for that responsibility?
Your trusted advisors are looking at a generational timeline - wealth goals are typically stated in terms of generations - but it’s these small windows of time that can have great impact on the solidarity of a family. Planning for the immediate impact in the initial 30, 60 and 90 days after your death allows you to provide an extra layer of financial and emotional support to both the members of your family and your family unit as a whole.
"It's easy to see the beginning of things and harder to see the ends." - Joan Didion
"At last, technology and competition are starting to disrupt this most conservative of industries. This is good news for anyone who plans to die."
- The Economist, 4/12/18