Are You Prepared?
- If you become incapacitated, have you appointed a trusted person to make personal and financial decisions for you?
- If you or a loved one passes away, do the right people have the information and legal tools necessary to carry out your wishes or your loved one’s?
Though we recognize the difficulty of contemplating these questions, setting a few goals, meeting with professionals, and taking action now will give you and your family greater peace of mind in the future.
The information on this page offers suggestions and resources for getting started with your estate planning. And although you will find the following useful APGFCU still advises that you consult a professional estate planner or attorney regarding your situation. APGFCU is not providing you with legal advice. We are instead offering general suggestions regarding important issues you should consider. You are encouraged to seek out your own legal and financial advice. You can use these pages as a springboard for dealing with questions and issues with the professionals you consult.
Determine your wishes and goals in the event of incapacity or death.
What assets compose your estate? How would you like them to be disbursed? To whom? By whom? Ask yourself these and any other important questions. Write down your answers.
Meet with the appropriate qualified professionals
An attorney, financial planner, accountant, or other professional advisors can assist you with the estate planning. Also, they can assist you with creating and executing the necessary legal documents. To make the most of your time during an appointment, bring along your notes about your wishes and goals.
Appoint a personal representative
Choose a trusted person who may act on your behalf, such as your spouse, family member, friend, attorney or other qualified professional, and make them aware of the appointment. Provide your representative with important documents that have been certified or make their location known to your representative.
Organize important documents and information
Put the following items in a safe and accessible place:
- Contact information for attorney, accountant, personal representative, physician and financial planner (include name, address, telephone number)
- Living Trust
- Power of Attorney
- Titles (home, auto)
- Advance Health Care Directive
- Legal Certificates (marriage, birth, adoption, divorce)
- Insurance policies (home, life, medical, auto)
- Military/Veteran papers
- Pension and retirement benefit information
- Stock certifications or investment statements
- Social Security card or number
- Safe deposit box location and keys
Note: This is a general list to help you focus on your needs. The needs of each individual will vary.
Review investment and account ownership
Understanding different types of ownership and how they affect you and your family upon incapacity or death is very important. For example, upon the death of a member holding an individual account, the funds in the account may be subject to probate. Conversely an account held in joint ownership with rights of survivorship would normally avoid probate, as the surviving joint owner(s) would own the account. A member may also hold a Pay On Death account. Upon the death of the account owner(s) the funds will pass to the designated beneficiary(ies). For most information, please refer to our All About Your Accounts brochure. To learn more about how yours funds are insured, click here.
Place documents on file in appropriate locations
For example, you should file financial Power of Attorney documents with your financial institution(s) and Advance Health Care Directives with your health care provider(s). Provide an original or certified document so that a witnessed copy may be maintained at the corresponding institution.
Periodically review and update your legal documents and financial documents
As time passes, your life situation changes. You may add to your family, acquire new investments, change jobs or retire. It is a good idea to annually review important documents and information and update your files as needed.