As Mom's executor I have been getting an education in financial matters about things I had not considered for myself. So this post is more a list of recommendations than a request for advice.
1. Do all of your financial accounts have updated beneficiaries? Each account should have a named beneficiary. Mom's saving account did not and we can't access the money unless we go to probate. I checked mine and several are deceased since I last checked.
2. Do you have a co-signer on banking accounts? POAs are null after a death, having a co-signer allows that person to write checks and pay bills after your death.
3. Does your life insurance have living beneficiaries named? Mom's policy named my deceased father! The policy will now be divided between myself, surviving siblings and a niece. I have to get a copy of my brother's death certificate to prove his death. Do you know where that policy is? It might have to be surrendered for it to pay out.
4. Do you have a will? Is it updated and have the beneficiaries you want? In 10 years I have lost both parents and a brother who were named. And the 8 nieces and nephews I had named are all grown up and well established and don’t need my money anymore!
5. Do you have the correct executors? I checked mine and have decided to change them to people who are much younger than myself. If I live to age 90 they will still be young enough to handle things.
5. Do your retirement accounts have beneficiaries? If not the money will have to go to an account and the estate probated before the funds can be distributed as a will directs.
6. Do you have a current POA and MPOA? Are the people named still the ones you want to handle things? Are they still willing? Is that person a co-signer on your banking/checking account? They will need to be able to access your checking account is necessary.