This week, waaaaaaay later than we should have, my husband and I finally saw a lawyer about having wills and powers of attorney drawn up. We’re in our mid-60, and yeah, we should have done this decades ago when our daughter was born. But it’s almost done - we’ll go sign everything in a couple of weeks and that will be that.
Actually, it was more than just doing wills - this attorney is also an estate planner, and she offered a lot of good suggestions to make things easier on each other and our daughter when the inevitable happens. One thing was to make (for want of a better term) a Death Book. She suggested we gather all important documents (like our DD-214 and life insurance info) and all account information, including passwords, into a binder or an accordion file. This is another thing that should have been done eons ago, since I manage our finances and spousal unit has no idea what I do.
So in the coming couple of weeks, we’ll pull all this info together, show it to our daughter, then get a fireproof box to store it all. The lawyer specifically said not to put it in a safe deposit box. She also had suggestions about listing our daughter on our bank accounts so any assets would go directly to her with no tax implications.
The conversation made me realize how reckless we’ve been all these years. Learn from my mistakes, especially if you have children. Do your estate planning early and often! You’re welcome!