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Putting Legal & Financial Affairs in Order
October 3, 2016
Planning for the future means protecting yourself, your family & your finances
Making preparations for your death is one of the most loving gifts you can give your family. But what does being prepared look like?
It means organizing and communicating about financial matters, medical care, passing on your legacy, and the type of funeral or memorial service you would like.
Here's how to get started.
Gather important documents
As part of the planning process you may need to find and organize important legal and financial documents such as your:
- Birth and marriage certificates.
- Social Security card.
- Bank statements.
- Account passwords.
- Insurance policies.
- Investment summaries.
Discuss & record your wishes
You may want to plan aspects of your funeral or memorial service. If so, schedule a meeting with your pastor or the funeral home, along with close family members, to discuss and record your wishes.
The booklet Step by Step: Your Guide to Making Practical Decisions When a Loved One Dies includes a section on how to plan ahead for yourself too. This booklet is available to all Thrivent members.
Ask yourself a few questions
Making sure you're as organized and detailed as possible will help ensure your loved ones have the information they need to carry out your wishes. Answering the following questions can help you be sure you've covered your bases.
- What kind of medical treatment do you want to receive in the event of a life-threatening illness?
- What kind of funeral or memorial service would you like?
- Are you willing to donate your body or organs? If yes, have you made arrangements to do so?
- Do you need to change the beneficiaries on your life insurance contract, IRA, annuities and similar assets? For example, did you update these documents after a marriage or divorce, or after the birth of a child?
- Are your real estate holdings, stocks and bonds titled so they can pass easily to your beneficiaries?
- Do you have an up-to-date will?
- Have you set up a living trust or a testamentary trust through your will?
- Are your important papers, like your will, health care directive, power of attorney and bank account records, together? Do your family members know where they are?
- Do you have one list of the names and phone numbers of professionals you rely on – like your Thrivent Financial representative, physicians or people who provide services for your home – in an easy-to-find spot?
Planning ahead pays off
Making preparations for the future is not something you should wait to do. Putting your affairs in order now is necessary to help lighten the emotional burden on your family and to ensure you protect the people and causes you care about most.
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