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If You’re Not Ready For A Will, Make A Financial First Aid Kit


The saying goes that if you don’t have enough money to be generous to your family and friends by leaving them an inheritance, show them that you care about them by writing a will, so that they don’t have to fight with each other or guess about your intentions during probate.  In other words, writing a will is not just about trying to control your money from beyond the grave; it is also about trying to make life less stressful for the people closest to you.  Maybe you really don’t need a will, at least not urgently.  Your children are grown up, so you don’t have to worry about choosing a guardian for them.  You are absolutely fine with your spouse inheriting your entire estate; in fact, this is what you choose.  Likewise, a lifelong bachelor with virtually no attachment to material things may not need a will; a friend has agreed to adopt his dog if he predeceases it, and he truly doesn’t care if the state takes all his money and uses it for whatever it deems beneficial to the public.  Even if you don’t have a will, and even if you own very little property, dealing with your finances after you die will be an arduous task for your family if you do not give them some clues about how to access your accounts.  A financial first aid kit is a good temporary fix until you feel ready to talk to an Orlando estate planning lawyer.

Elements of a Financial First Aid Kit

Some people call it a death note, but “financial first aid kit” has a more pleasant sound to it.  A financial first aid kit contains the information the personal representative of your estate will need to access your financial accounts.  Writing a will and creating a financial first aid kit are not mutually exclusive; ideally, you should do both.  The information in a financial first aid kit does not belong in your will; it is more of a set list for the personal representative of your estate to follow during probate, whether you write a will or the personal representative initiates intestate probate proceedings.

Your financial first aid kit should contain the login information for your computer and smartphone.  The personal representative may be able to access much of your financial information this way, especially if you have the passwords stored on your devices for accessing your accounts.  Just to be safe, though, you should also write the account numbers and login credentials for your bank accounts and for any recurring bills, such as your mortgage and utilities.  By having this information readily available, the personal representative can save weeks of work that would otherwise be spent chasing down creditors.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Estate Planning Little by Little

An estate planning lawyer can help you with the parts of your estate plan you are ready to deal with now, so that you can come back to the rest later.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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