“My wife passed away suddenly last November. She had a 401(k) at her job, an IRA, and a life insurance policy. All together it’s a little more than $360,000. I didn’t do anything with any of it at first. Now that my head’s a little clearer I think I can start making some decisions.
I’m 64 and expect I’ll work another five or six years – going to work every day has really helped me through all this.
I need to decide what to do with her investments and my 401(k) as well. How do I make things easier on my two kids when my time comes?
Thank for your radio show. I listen almost every Saturday and it has helped me through this tough time. I like your sense of humor, even if sometimes it’s missing the humorous part.”
Thanks for the kind words – I think. I am so very sorry for you loss. It does seem you’ve found a number of ways to work through and process your grief. That is very, very good.
You’ve taken time to clear your head and that’s a very good thing as well. Too many people move too quickly after the loss of a spouse. Time gives you a better chance to make solid decisions that are best for you.
Your primary concern is to insure your children aren’t left with a mess upon your passing. Of course, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to insure your estate documents are in good shape. You will also want to review your beneficiary designations on all your accounts to confirm they list your two children as your beneficiaries. This is an easy step to miss. You might even wish to name your children in Transfer on Death documents relating to your accounts that don’t have beneficiaries named. And you should set up an organized filing system so all the documents and information your children will need at your passing is easily located and complete.
It is interesting that you haven’t asked about yourself. You should review your investments to insure they meet your goals and risk tolerance. You should review your income tax return to insure you are paying the lowest legal tax. You should review your insurance program to insure you are protected in the event you lose your health – long term care insurance program, for example. It will be a great gift your children for you to remain financially independent, healthy, and happy for the rest of your life. Most of these steps can be taken with a trusted financial advisor.
I’m very glad you’re part of our More than Money family.
If you have questions or comments, please send them to Gene@AskMtM.com