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Peace of Mind Planning

Peace of mind“No one wants to think about the possibility of a spouse passing away. But neglecting to prepare for that possibility makes life all the more difficult if it happens.”

A NerdWallet survey of more than 2,000 married adults found that roughly one in three couples doesn't have life insurance. And of those adults who do have life insurance, 43% say they would not be financially prepared if they lost their spouse.

The national newspaper USA Today recently published a helpful article, “5 ways couples can tackle estate planning now,” that urges readers to take some basic steps now to provide security for their family members—whatever the future may bring. Here are five things you can do to prepare.

  1. Determine how much life insurance is needed for you and your family. Many folks simply go with whatever life insurance their employer provides, but that's usually not enough coverage for families. Plus, you may lose the policy if you switch jobs.
  2. Understand your spouse's life insurance policy. Even if your better half has been doing the management, you should know the basics about his or her life insurance coverage. The survey found that married adults with children were less likely than those without children to do this: 58% of those with children knew these details, compared to 67% of married adults without children. Among married adults with or without children, women are less likely than men to know the terms of their spouse's policy. Fifty-seven percent of women felt confident about the details, compared to 69% of men. The article says that you should know:
  • The name of the insurance company holding the policy
  • Why it was purchased
  • The amount of coverage
  • The costs
  • When it expires, if it's a term life insurance policy
  • The deadline for converting term coverage to permanent life insurance (if allowed).
  1. Have a will prepared. Make sure you have a will in which you explain who gets your belongings and assets after you die. You also should name an executor to manage your estate and a guardian for your children. A will is a must, especially for parents, and you should consult with an estate planning attorney. He or she can help you with other critical estate-planning tasks, like setting up trusts and completing financial and health care powers of attorney documents.
  2. Make sure you put financial records in a secure place where they can be found. The NerdWallet survey says that 30% of married adults with children and 23% of those without kids don't know how to get their family's financial records. The article suggests creating a one-page, quick-start guide that provides information about bank accounts, life insurance companies and policy numbers, and locations of important documents.
  3. Talk to your spouse about final wishes. Married adults need to know each other’s final wishes, such as burial and services.

Don’t wait until after the funeral to look at estate documents. Talking about the end of life may not be enjoyable, but it’s a top personal priority.

Reference: USA Today (November 14, 2015) “5 ways couples can tackle estate planning now”

 

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.