In case you missed all store displays and radio ads for jewelry and romantic getaways, Valentine’s Day is coming up.
If you aren’t ready for Valentine’s Day, don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time to order the roses, buy the candy, and reserve seats for dinner. But consider giving something more this Valentine’s Day. While not traditionally romantic, they are arguably a much more lasting display of love.
- A Will and Trust
Wills and trusts are useful to determine who will be in charge of your property during death or disability. It will make sure you are able to take care of your loved one during a tragedy with minimal costs or court supervision. For parents of minor children, it can also document your wishes for guardianship and raising your children in the event of a premature death of both parents.
- Beneficiary Designations
Some financial assets permit you to name one or more beneficiaries. This can trump a will, trust, or even the probate court. So it is important to review these designations and make sure they are up-to-date. The most common accounts to have beneficiary designations are retirement accounts, financial savings accounts, and life insurance policies.
- Medical Directives
Document your wishes for medical care, including who will make decisions for you when you cannot make decisions for yourself. This will provide much needed direction and comfort to loved ones during a medical emergency. It will also empower them to get information from a medical professional about your condition and treatment.
- Durable Powers of Attorney
Consider giving your trusted loved one the authority to handle your financial affairs and ease the access and administration if incapacitated. A Durable Power of Attorney will allow the person named to have access to your financial accounts, make payments, and collect money on your behalf.
- Life Insurance
Do you have enough life insurance if you were to die prematurely? Work with an insurance professional to make sure you have the best coverage limits and features. You may also need to discuss additional coverage and options that are available.
- Long-Term Care Insurance
An often overlooked insurance, long-term care policies provide coverage for future nursing home and home health care needs. There are differing packages and levels of service available. However, the odds of an adult requiring long-term medical care will only increase as we age.
- Disability Insurance
If your income were to suddenly stop due to disability, do you have enough insurance to get you back on your feet? If the disability is permanent, do you have enough coverage until permanent disability becomes available? You may have some coverage through an employer but this may be inadequate for a serious disability.
- Comprehensive Planning
While comprehensive planning will include all of the above, it is important to get a plan implemented where all the pieces work together. Talking to a professional estate planner that can advise you and work with your insurance professional is the best way to make sure that nothing is missed.
While “peace of mind” isn’t a traditionally romantic gift, it’s a gift with a long-lasting impact that will be there long after the flowers have died and the candy has been eaten.