Lifevesting: A Memo for Heirs
Our Lifevesting: Memo for Heirs is the perfect way to make sure your assets fall into the correct hands once you’ve passed. Each section goes into detail about every asset, where it goes, the passwords to access each account and even what you want to happen at your funeral. In this blog, we will go through the memo, section-by-section, to give you a better understanding of what it contains and what information to include.
Your will is generally the last guideline you will leave to your loved ones. This section entails all the important things about it. One important piece of information that is often overlooked is that you should list where your will is actually located. Should that location change, remember to amend the location on this form as well. You will also list your personal representative, the executor, who is designated to carry out the provisions of your will. You should also list an alternative representative, in case the person you selected as your executor declines or is unable to carry these matters out. Also, write down who your attorney is, as they will assist your personal representative in settling any legal matters. In the event that estate accounting is required, state your accountant. It is best to list two financial advisors to help with financial matters, just in case one is unavailable to assist. List your main provisions here as well, so they can be attended to first.
This is the section where you can list your heirs. Remember to list their age, relationship and the amount of bequest and/or percentage of the estate you would like to leave them. All of this information helps your personal representative correctly identify who you are leaving these percentages of your estate to. Remember to add in any suffixes to names (Sr., Jr., etc…) in case there are generational names within your family.
Here, you will briefly describe your trust. Is it included in your will or is it a separate instrument? List your trustee and the assets in the trust. When choosing your trustee, be sure this is a person who works well and gets along with your executor.
Here is where your representative will find your banking information. List your bank name, your account numbers, your dependents and their accounts. Also, list out the location of your checkbooks and bank statements. If you have login information for these bank accounts,list it in the passwords section on page 14 of the document. In regards to your savings accounts, write down their account numbers, the name of the institution and where the passbooks are located. If there are any special instructions for these accounts after your death, such as where the money goes, please note them.
For your investments, note your stockbroker, their company and their address. They should have provided you with a full list of stocks and bonds as of a certain date. Remember to list the titles to your stocks and bonds, as well as where the actual certificates are located.
This section pertains to all your pertinent documents. List things such as the deed to your house, automobile titles and registrations, birth certificates, income tax records, military records, Social Security cards and their locations. For your house, note where the deed is located and who it is registered to. List the approximate value of your home, the mortgage balance as of a certain date. Also list the files that pertain to the purchase amount of the house, the cost of improvements, original closing cost, who marked them and where they are located. Be sure to make an inventory of all your household furnishings and their approximate values.
It is also worth attaching a photocopy of all important things in your wallet, such as your debit and credit cards. Also note any safe deposit box(es), their numbers, locations, contents and where the keys are kept.
Here, you will list all things about your income. List your monthly income and monthly expenses, totaling each of them. (This is also a great way to set up your monthly budget!) This section also lists when your heirs will begin receiving your retirement benefits, Social Security benefits and veterans’ benefits, should that apply. It lists what they should bring with them and what numbers to contact. List financial advisors who you trust to contact in case your heirs need help with the financial aspects. Next, you will list out and total what you project the investable funds available to them will be.
My Military History
Should this apply to you, list out all of your military information, such as your service number, branch of service, length of service (from your beginning date to the end), your rank and if you have a service-connected disability. List any special papers you have and their locations.
Other Real Estate We Own
This is where you list any real estate you may own other than your own home. This information includes the nature of your title, mortgage balance, date of purchase, cost and approximate value. List where any more information is located.
My Business Interests
Here, you will list any business information you have, such as proprietorships, partnerships, or corporations, including the descriptions and sources of ownership. When it comes to these business matters, if there are people who will be able to help your heirs with them, list their names and phone numbers so your heirs can contact them.
We’ve all, at one point or another, thought about how our funerals will play out and planned as such. For the aspects of your funeral you can control, list them in this section. Include things such as the funeral home, its address and phone number. Also, include what you want done with your body once the time comes. Do you want your body to be used for medical purposes, such as organ donation? Would you like an autopsy performed? Do you want to be cremated and if so, how would you like your ashes to be dealt with? What specifications would you like followed if you want to be buried, such as the address of where you would like to be buried and if you want your casket to be present at the memorial service. You can request where you would like your service to be held, what music to play, who officiates it and other things of this nature. If you would like memorial gifts to be given, this is where you would fill out the charitable institutions you would like them given to.
Here is where you will list your life, auto, homeowners and medical insurances. List who your agents are, what company they are with and how to contact them. List each policy number, the company you have it with and where they are located. In addition to those pieces of information, for life insurance, list the face amount of your policy, loan balance and the net amount due to your heirs.
My Employment Record
Here is literally where you will lay out your life’s work. List where you worked, the dates you worked there, from start-to-finish, and the approximate annual income.
Debts Owed To Me & Debts I Owe
If you have any outstanding debts owed to you and/or owe anyone else money, this is where you list those. Make sure to have the documentation backing up these claims, writing down the description of the terms, the present balance, and where the documents are located.
If there is any other information about the debts, be sure to list it in the space provided.
List of Passwords
In this day and age, we all have several accounts and each of those accounts have passwords. Here is where you list all of the accounts and the passwords that they go with. Be sure to include things like the password to your computer, your online bank accounts, social media accounts, etc. Remember that some companies require these passwords to be updated at regular intervals, so be sure to update this document whenever you update those passwords.
List of Preferred Providers
List all of your preferred providers here. These include your doctor, dentist, insurance agent, financial advisor, etc. Even if they are listed in any of the above sections, list them here as well for the convenience of your heirs.
This document covers a considerable amount of the information required for your heirs. However, if there is any additional information you feel the need to communicate to them, place it here.
We’re Here to Help
We hope this blog will help you navigate our Lifevesting: Memo For Heirs document a little easier. To download the memo, click here Heirs Checklist. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your financial advisor.