On any given day in Nevada, babies are born, couples get married and individuals take their final breath. While two of these events are often joyous occasions, many do not like to dwell on the certainty of death in the future. All three of these events typically involve some sort of planning and preparation, along with a number of questions to be answered. The estate planning process has its own particular set of questions and concerns that should be addressed prior to one’s final departure.
In many households, one spouse is responsible for the financial decisions and record keeping. Many times, the other spouse has an idea of the overall financial picture and has perhaps briefly met the individual that has been entrusted to assist with the family’s estate plan. However, if the individual who makes the majority of financial decisions is the first to die, the other spouse could be left having to rely upon an individual with whom he or she has not developed a trusting relationship. By asking whether the other spouse has developed a relationship with the estate planner, this scenario can be avoided.
When one spouse shoulders the majority of the financial decision-making burdens, it is also likely that the other spouse does not have an intimate knowledge of all financial accounts. In addition to a detailed discussion of exactly where each account is located, a written list is helpful. Include account numbers and institution names, as well as addresses and account passwords. This list should be kept in several locations that will be easily accessible for the surviving spouse.
The estate planning process is typically not one in which a Nevada resident wishes to spend a substantial amount of time. However, a little time spent planning and preparing now can save loved ones even more heart-ache later on. This process can begin with assessing exactly how aware the other spouse is of the current financial picture and who to contact if needed.
Source: dailyfinance.com, “3 important estate planning questions”, Scott Holsopple, May 2, 2014