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Estate Planning 101: The 6 Things to Do Before You Die

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What are the things that can make estate planning a lot easier? That's really what we want to cover today. Things are often overlooked. Today we're going to talk about the six things that you could do to make a transition easier. If you have aging parents, and you're the one that's going to act as that personal representative. We're going to share some helpful information covering estate planning and digital wills that we think are important for you to have.

Submit questions to the show at Retire@theoremwm.com

- Johnathan Rankin CRPC® CEPA®, Founder & CEO,

-  Melissa Rankin - Wealth Management Advisor

- Theorem Wealth Management, Financial Advisor Dallas Texas

- Retire Once Show - 2022 Retirement Podcast Series



00:00 - Introduction

4:24 - Choose Someone You Trust. . . Then Communicate

6:29 - Make A List Of Property

8:23 - Make A List Of All Accounts

12:15 - Make Copies Of Your List

13:30 - Create A Digital Will









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Disclaimer: Johnathan Rankin is a Registered Representative of Sanctuary Securities Inc. and an Investment Advisor Representative of Sanctuary Advisors, LLC. Securities offered through Sanctuary Securities, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Theorem Wealth Management is a DBA of Sanctuary Securities, Inc. and Sanctuary Advisors, LLC.


Song: Can't Get Over

Artist: Ballpoint/Epidemic Sound

Hello, and welcome to the retire. Once show the show designed to help you get to retirement, but most importantly, stay retired. I'm your host, Johnathan Rankin. I'm the founder and CEO of theorem wealth management. And I am joined today by my lovely cohost. Hi, I'm Melissa Rankin. Thanks for that. We have a great episode for you today.

You know, last week we talked a lot about personal property. We were lucky enough to have Beau Patrick join us last week. And, you know, we realized that when settling in a state or handling an inheritance, it's, it's not just the big things like the home or the financial assets that really are the issue or the complication to transitioning to the state.

You know, I think part of it is the little things that can make it a lot easier. And that's really what we want to cover today. Things that are often overlooked. Yeah. So today we're going to talk about the six things that you could do to make a transition easier. And, you know, especially if you have aging parents, you know, how can you help them to make life easier on yourself?

If you're the one that's going to act as that personal representative. So I think the, the part that, uh, Jonathan skipped over is the, the actual title of the episode, the six things to do before you die, we're going to make this an uplifting episode. We wanted to at least try to have a good time with it, but.

And it's still very good information that we think is important for you to have it is. And I just couldn't think of a different name. So if you have a different name that leads us into what do we want people to do first and foremost, we want you to subscribe. We want you to like us. We want you to rate us five stars.

We want you to tell everybody, you know, all about. Gotcha. Tell them all about it. Had to retire once show.com. That's where you can actually submit a question. You can now submit. Different title for this show. If you have a better one that you look, we are very open, very open to, uh, you can access our retirement toolkit and you can also schedule a free retirement assessment there as well.

But, uh, you know, to me, this is a, it is actually is a very personal episode though. You know, I think for our listeners, don't know, you know, I lost my grandma last year, lost my uncle earlier this year. And then on top of that, we have one of our closest clients, uh, over the past couple of months who recently lost their mother as well.

And kind of working with my parents to go through, you know, their loss of, you know, my dad's mom and then also a very close client of mine who lost his mom and seeing all the, all the frustrations that went along with that, not just the emotional side of it, of, Hey, you just lost your mom. It's, you know, there was so much that went into it to settle the affairs, settle the estate.

And so that's why we wanted to. You know, talk about the top six things that you could do before you die and hopefully a better way than just the top six things you can do before you die. So our grim Reaper list, if you will. Yeah. We know that setting up an estate plan and a will and trust that's important, but that's not what we're going to talk about today.

We're going to save that for another episode. Um, this is more of the personal aspect of what you should do or how you can help your, your beneficiaries, the people who are going to be overseeing things. I mean, you want it to be, obviously you won't be around for it, but you still want it to be pretty easy on them, you know, in talking about the client.

I mean, he's still going through this today and it's not like his mom and parents didn't have, you know, they had a trust set up, they had the wills, they had everything set up and it's still taking months for them to settle this estate. And it's a lot of the little things. And, you know, part of the reason why we're doing this episode is because I had asked him, I said, Hey, what would you, you know, if you could have a conversation with your mom today, and it's only about picking you make this just a little bit easier on me, how can, what are some of the things that you.

You don't have her do in order to, uh, to help make things easier because you want to make it a smoother transition, you know, and you know, you put together a letter of intent in most wills and the state plans, and that's usually for beneficiaries to be. Funeral arrangements, things like that. It's not a letter of intent to say, Hey, the intent of this whole process is to stress you out over the course of months.

So, um, that's why we wanted to have that conversation. And so that kind of leads us into number one. So, number one, it's a choose someone you trust in someone you can have an open dialogue with that will act as your personal representative. Yeah. Don't just name someone without talking. I mean, I don't want to be named as a reference for a job interview without even knowing.

And the last thing you want to do is, you know, you find out that, you know, you, your mom passed away and all of a sudden, now you have to handle the entire estate. I mean, that's the, you know, that would be a lot to, lot to take in, in one, you know, kind of, I would imagine probably a short period of time.

Choose someone that you know, that you trust or, you know, if you're helping your aging parents and let's say you are that person for them have that dialogue, you know, start having those conversations about, okay, I don't want to be grim. We're not here to talk about, you know, your death mom, but at the end of the day, I'm going to be the one handling these things.

I'd like to make it a little easier because you know, the day I wanna be able to celebrate your life. I don't want to be frustrated all the time. For months on end trying to settle all these little things. So on top of the grieving process, I mean, yeah. I mean, could you imagine if all of a sudden we just named someone in our estate plan to take on our kids without telling them?

I mean, I think about that all the time when we were setting up our trust and things like that. I mean, cause we're responsible adults when we were doing that. I mean, we had to list. The people who would take care of the kids. And if we didn't tell them, I mean, poof, now your parents have two small children.

If God forbid something happened to us tomorrow, go here's Harvey. He's five, uh, Amie. She's going to be four in July. So enjoy, you know, that's I think it wasn't a movie about. Oh, yeah. Um, life happened or something life happens. I don't know. There was a movie about, there is a movie about it where they just somehow, uh, is it with Katherine Heigl life?

I know this is very entertaining for the listeners right now to go the movies called the death list. Yeah, let's go back to the desolate. Okay. Number two, start making a list of. Yeah, so you can, you know, we don't just mean where you live. No, make a list of the stuff that you have, you know, the personal property.

And this kind of goes back to that episode. We had last week with bow where you can get a person to do this or a company to do this, where they go in they'll inventory, everything they'll appraise it. So the benefit to doing that is that it's going to make the whole process easier, knowing the value of property that's in the estate, but at the same time, it's going to help that personal reference.

No what's there. What should be there? Because if you're dealing with multiple siblings, you know, who knows, if someone shows up. They just decided to take grandpa's coin collection and go show their own kids. And now the coin collections gone, um, there never was a coin collection. Oh, we, you know, and that's that, honestly, that, that, that happens.

We hear about it all the time. It's so unfortunate. But if your parents have specific ideas of who they want sentimental things to go to definitely make a list. I mean, that's, that's another thing we hear all the time. Our clients say, oh, I was supposed to get this, or I was supposed to get that. I mean, it's unfortunate that it comes down to that and it's a time of, you know, grief, but it does well.

And I mean, I'm just going to say this. This happened with my grandma who passed away and my dad will test this, that there was a member of our family that. Had things that didn't belong to them throughout that process. And it made it a lot harder to know what was there and what wasn't, because there wasn't a list that was put together there wasn't, you know, an appraisal of value of items and things like that.

So it made the whole process a lot harder and it caused friction between a family who should be grieving during that time, as opposed to just fighting over. Things. So, um, now that's, that's why that hits number two there. So then that leads us into number three, make a list, make a list of all accounts, all bank accounts, investment accounts, life insurance policies, everything that, that you've got that you can think of, of value, make a list.

Yep. So this is all of your non-tangible assets, not your, this isn't your, your home and all this stuff we just talked about. Everything that is the banking related or in that realm. So 401ks IRAs, and also at the same time, I would say, also look into adding your personal representative if you're comfortable doing so to certain accounts, which again, leads us back to the previous point of making sure they know who they are.

Yeah. Make sure they know who they are. And if you know that you are going to be helping your parents at some point, have the conversation about. You know, maybe add me on as a, as a joint on this account or a power of attorney, or just make it to where, when I call, they'll actually talk to me at these institutions, because that can lead to months of just irritation, just to close out certain accounts.

And a lot of instances, you have to wait until you have the death certificate. And I mean, if you're already listed as a joint account owner or something like that, you can supersede that processing kind of get things started. So you can. Get onto, you know, the grieving or moving. That's a better way. So, you know, with that also make sure that you list all the debts that are there as well.

So it's not just assets. If you have. Credit cards, loans, whatever it may be. I mean, at some point, my guess would be that somebody watching this 25 years from now, who's in their twenties, thirties or forties, they'll probably sell a student loan debt at 90 years old. So God, you never know, uh, you just don't want anything hidden.

Uh, you don't want any surprises when going through that process. So list everything down, make sure you list all the account numbers, uh, contact information for the institutions statements. And like I said, if you're, if you know, you're this person for your. Just have that conversation to say, look, I want to make this as easy as possible.

Can I, can we please just make this list? You know, if it makes it easier to be added as a, um, power of attorney to a counter, things like that, where you're not doing anything on the account now while they're alive, but at least you're able to help if something were to happen. I think that's important. Um, all right.

So number four, number four, make a list of subscriptions and memberships. Absolutely. It is. It is hard on the person settling the. When there's constant withdrawals coming out that are unknown for different memberships or subscriptions. I mean, whether it's a wine club that might be once a year that you didn't even know about once a month or who knows or a meat, they have that new meat club where you can subscribe to get steaks or Melissa's famous carwash, very important.

You know what memberships are out there. S what subscriptions. I mean, we live in the subscription age where, whether it's things like Netflix or Amazon, Amazon prime, whatever it is, there's gotta be, you know, there's a list of subscriptions that they're probably. They're probably there and they're on auto pay and that leads to another good point.

Make sure that you jot down or have them do so the usernames and passwords, because it's not so much just to know what they have, you have to be able to access it. Yeah. And I mean, Netflix is going to charge you to access it coming soon if you're using that same password and username, but that's.

Usernames and passwords are huge, especially when it comes to subscriptions and memberships, because you don't want to have to become a forensic accountant looking through a bank statement to figure out, okay, what was mom going through every single month? What was coming out every, yeah. Semi-annually I mean, that's the thing there's so many out there that build differently.

It's important to know it. Yeah. So having that list of subscriptions and memberships are going to help through that entire process. So that leads us to number five, make copies of your lists. Yes. Don't just make the list and then put it nowhere, make a copy of it. One thing to add to that list is also a, a, you know, a free credit report.

So you get that every single year for free, you can access through one of the bureaus that's out there. Um, but add that to the file as well, because that'll just show things that might've been forgotten that weren't listed on the list. And I mean, I would say that if you keep a copy of your trust or your will, which.

I'm a planner. I've, I've got a copy of ours printed out with all of our other important documents. If you've got the list and you're going through and making it anyway, or for your parents or your loved ones, add that to it. Just keep everything in one convenient spot. I mean, granted, I think it should be in a safety deposit box or something like that, but keep it all together, make it easy to find you.

Don't also want to send people on a scavenger hunt to find things. Yeah. Or you put it on a thumb drive, or if you trust the cloud, you can put it in the cloud. If you, you know, I trust the cloud. So all the store up there. Um, so my copy is in the cloud above us. Her copy is in a drawer. It's safe. Yeah, we hope so.

Uh, alright, so let's do the final one, the big one that I think most people forget what she is. The digital, well, yeah, this is one, I think that is so over. That people don't even realize it until months after this is things like social media. How do you, you know, right now, At least I know I'm going to just out them.

I know my grandma is probably busy on farm bill and doing things like tagging me and photos that were completely inappropriate when she took them like mid bite. Um, nobody should have a picture of them taken while they're eating, let alone posted or tagged in your father's also guilty. And my father is very guilty of this.

So yeah, you, you know, you don't, uh, we know. Now Facebook is used a lot by, um, you know, by that generation. And so, you know, making sure you have access to that account so that way you can figure out how to deactivate it, if something were to happen to you or some, you know, if you're helping your aging parents, the last thing you want to do is log into Facebook every single year and see people that are wishing your deceased mom, a happy birthday.

I mean, Uh, maybe they didn't know, she passed away and they just forgot and it pops up oh, today is, you know, Babs, birthday, happy birthday Bev. It's like has been gone for four years. I mean, either way you don't want the reminder. No, it's not. That's not the reminder you want that, uh, that people forgot that she had passed away.

So having that social media, you know, will essentially, it's a digital will. There is a process for that, uh, email accounts that isn't. So, you know, what do you do with an email account? Because there's a lot of sensitive information that might be held within that email account. Uh, not to interrupt, but this reminds me, you just got something about mother's day.

Um, what was it asking you if you want it to be taken off of the list if you had recently lost? Yeah. If you recently lost your ma I got this from a number of companies now that are offering to take you off their distribution list. If you, if mother's day is a sensitive day, So, I mean, not that this is that, but I just found that interesting that it even was an option.

It just seems like such a strange thing, but that kind of leads into the, to this point. I mean yeah. Leaving it in your control, I guess. Absolutely. And then, you know, but part of that is you think about how many times there was communication. You know, if you're, I think about, I think about my dad and you know, he's not the most tech savvy person in the world.

He's probably emailing things that should be in a secure email that are probably out there somewhere in the, you know, the internet sphere that shouldn't be there. But, you know, you can on Google, you can at least, uh, there's an inactive account manager. So you can add, uh, trusted contacts who can manage that account and then eventually deactivate your.

From Microsoft, you can actually contact their Microsoft custodian of records if you have a Microsoft account. So there's ways to make sure that someone has access to that account or that you do, uh, if you're helping your aging parents. And the last one, this to me is I think this is important just because I do, but I'll let you share it.

The phone password, the phone password. This is one that I think most people don't know. 'cause you know, nowadays with the phone being a, usually a face activity. The last thing that you want to do is be hovering over a casket, trying to access someone's phone. It's just, that's not the best look for funerals.

I just couldn't imagine just trying to get it right. And just going down to make sure you can swipe up. That's just eyes open. Would it be, I don't know. I don't know. You have to have the eyes open. I don't know. You should be able to do with a mask on because that, you know, that's two years too late, but, uh, the, the reality is, is that a lot of people have.

Pictures or passwords to other accounts on their phone that might be listed. So, you know, I know for example, on my phone, I've got 16,000 photos of what I have no clue, but those might be valuable to you if I do pass. So making sure that you have the access there, or at least write it down, going back to the list that we talked about, writing it down in the list, whatever that passcode is.

You can add someone else's face to your phone so they could just open it without having to hover your phone over a casket at the, uh, at the funeral.

I know I can't either. I, I really apologize. I'm actually thinking about like, okay, you know, I'm like actually envisioning this right now. I'm envisioning a real scene to me now, but I'm envisioning me doing. To like my dad and just go like, okay, we're going to just hover over. It's going to be like, okay, Mel, create a wall.

All right, I'm going to be bending down. I'm going to be grieving right now, real close, but I got the phone ready. Uh, the reality is that just because it is my dad and he's going to watch this and I wouldn't tell him, uh, I would do that, but I would also take a selfie of him and I would tag him because he's tagged me in more inappropriate photos.

So those are the six things. So just to recap, let's recap those for those who were caught up in all of our imagery of the facial recognition, the ones that now you won't be able to forget, but the top six are choose someone you trust. Definitely make sure you're close enough to this person to feel comfortable with them having your passwords and things like that.

All of your information. I mean, the fact of the matter is whoever your representative is, they're going to see all that anyway. So it should be somebody that you're close to. And if you are that person. Start having that conversation early, just, it doesn't have to be tense. You can show them this episode and make it light and fun.

Um, but how did that conversation early about, okay, let's just go through the little things you've got the big things out of the way we know where the estate plans, you know, directing, who's getting what who's, how are we dividing this between the siblings and all that. But if you're the one who's helping your parents think about the little things, start having that conversation and then make a list of.

Yep. Make a list of property or get someone to help you. If you don't want to, you know, add up all the trinkets and things inside of a house, there are companies like we talked about last time, trinkets. We mean your, your beloved belongings, all of your personal items that you've gathered your whole life.

No, my father has five, five. Airfryers five. Why? I don't know, but to me after, after one they become trinkets. Trinkets. Yeah. An air fryers or trinket after. Just to clarify. Okay. Perfect. Number three, a list of accounts and debts, all accounts, all debts, remember statements, uh, contact information for the people that are helping you with those accounts.

So account numbers, passwords, uh, that leads us to our next one. The list of subscriptions and memberships. Don't forget. You can just want to cancel all of them. I want to cancel everything. Uh, you're probably gonna have to cut off a lot of people on your Netflix. If you're sharing that. And nowadays, like I said, they're getting ready now.

So yes. List of memberships list of subscriptions, and always think of Mel's carwash now. And then after that, get copies of the lists. Yes. Make copies. You can go down the cloud or in a safety deposit box, go to your local Kinko's and you know, is that, I don't think that's around. I think it is. It's a FedEx Kinko's now.

Oh, okay. Yeah. All right. You can go there, make your copy, go somewhere and make a copy or take it off. Our last point, a digital, well, digital will, well that digital wills that's for the social media. And I'm just saying digital where it's true. They can eat then you're right, because they let them drive thing.

That's true. They could take a picture of. And then stored on their phone and then make sure that someone has that password in their digital will. I dunno. I kinda liked the image of you standing over with the phone and the whole thing. I just know it's going to be a thing. Oh, he's going to kill me for this episode.

I'm sorry, dad. I'm just going to say that now. So those are the top six things that we believe that you should do, or you should help your parents before you pass. That's, you know, we want to make the little things. A non-event during that transition because in all seriousness, I know we tried to, you know, we joked around and made this, you know, a little bit more lighthearted than it probably should've been.

But rally is that this, this has hit home for, for us personally and for a very close, uh, close client of ours that watching them go through this process, it's not fun. And it is. You know, going through thinking that just because you have wills and trusts and powertrains set up, that that's enough.

Unfortunately, it's just not, it's still very important, but it, it's not that there's so many other little things that really, when. You pass or one of your loved ones passes, or God forbid a parent or aunt or uncle or whoever. It really should be more about a celebration of life, not a tracking down creditors or things like that.

Like you want it, you want to make it as easy as possible on your, your loved ones as you can. Yeah. And so, you know, I would recommend it if you are, let's say you're doing this and you're naming your personal representative after you chose. Make them do a lot of this stuff. Just tell them, Hey, look, you're going to have to deal with this.

So you might as well put in some work on this exercise too. So, um, you know, we hope that. Uh, before we get out of here, make sure you had to retire once show.com, where you can submit a question. We can answer on a future episode, we could rename this episode open to all ideas. Yes. A suggested a rename. The episode would be great.

Uh, we'll happily take that. And lastly, before we get out of here, what do we won't be able to do? Mel, we want you to subscribe. We want you to like us. We want you to rate us five stars. Um, thumbs up and. Everybody, you know about us. Join our community. Thank you again for joining us. I'm Johnathan Rankin. I'm Melissa Rankin.

Thank you.

Registered Representative of Sanctuary Securities Inc. and Investment Advisor Representative of Sanctuary Advisors, LLC.– Securities offered through Sanctuary Securities, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. –  Advisory services offered through Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. – Theorem Wealth Management is a DBA of Sanctuary Securities, Inc. and Sanctuary Advisors, LLC. This communication has not been reviewed for completeness or accuracy, does not necessarily reflect the views of Sanctuary Securities, Inc. or Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., and is not a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service, or issuer. Third party posts do not reflect the views of Theorem Wealth Management or Sanctuary Securities, Inc. or Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., and have not been reviewed for completeness and accuracy. All further communications from this representative must be sent from and received by johnathan@theoremwm.com. For additional information, please refer to one of the following consumer websites: www.FINRA.org, www.SIPC.org.

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