March 2, 2011

Spring Housecleaning

Deuth,-Dave-colorBy David W. Deuth, CFSP
President, Weerts Funeral Home

Spring is in the air. And if you’re like me, you’re anxious to open the windows and air things out a little bit! We’re definitely overdue for some sunshine!

As the weather improves, many of us will wash windows, straighten up the closet, tidy up the cupboards and get ready to drag the patio furniture out of the garage. Whatever the season, it seems there are always important tasks to accomplish around the house.

If you’ve read my columns for any length of time, you are already aware that I advocate and encourage everyone to have a
professionally prepared Will. Furthermore, I advocate the reviewing of your Will, your life insurance and, if applicable, your Trust, every five years…or anytime birth, death, marriage or divorce affects your immediate family.

So what does this have to do with spring housecleaning? Well, just like your house, these important plans and documents can use a good cleaning once in awhile, too. A periodic review allows you to make certain that the written provisions you’ve established are still nice and tidy…and still in keeping with your wishes.

The birth of a child, for example, should prompt parents to reassess their life insurance needs, as well as guardianship considerations and college financial planning.

In many cases, a death in your immediate family will suggest the need to update a beneficiary designation on life insurance policies. And, in some instances, this same situation may even require a new designation of your estate executor and/or a person to whom you have previously granted a Power of Attorney.

And, as more and more people have chosen to pre-plan their arrangements with a funeral home in recent years, this is another item that should be added to the spring cleaning checklist. It’s good to review this information every five years or so as well, just to make sure it’s accurate, up-to-date, and still in keeping with your wishes.

Remember: it’s been said that no one plans to fail…they simply fail to plan.

Your plans won’t fail you when they’re established properly – that’s the first and perhaps most important step of all. Keeping those plans clean and tidy and up-to-date will continue to insure that they accomplish all you intend them to.

Then, just like cleaning your house or your garage, you can sit back for a little while and enjoy that great feeling a good spring cleaning brings. You – and your family – will be glad you did!

Remember Well.