“Have you lined up all your ducks?”

I saw this useful reminder in the Stockton Parkinson’s Disease support group newsletter sent out over the weekend.  It was written by Christy Carruthers, a caregiver in the group.  This is probably a good end-of-year activity every year.


Have you lined up all your ducks?
Christy Carruthers, Parkinson’s Caregiver

Your named beneficiaries on your pension, portfolios, insurance policies, bank accounts, etc., that is.  Did you know named beneficiaries will trump whatever you stipulated in your trust or will? And you once you’ve passed on, you can’t fix it – sorry.  Pull out those documents and check them-is your first spouse named on your pension and you’ve remarried?  Did you have more children after you listed your first born as inheriting on your financial documents?

It’s a good idea to also visit your estate planning attorney and have your trust or will updated if your circumstances have changed.  Every five years is a useful guideline.

Is your current house in your trust (have you moved)?  Is your trust “funded?”-i.e. is your house, other assets, etc. listed with your trust named as the owner-not you.  (Don’t want to go through probate thank you very much and it’s expensive).

And a durable power of attorney for your spouse can be more important than you realize.