Some families suffer tragic losses because they lose track of assets. Your hard earned wealth can languish in limbo if no one knows where it is, or that it even exists. It’s not enough for you to know. Your family, your caregivers, your advisors and your estate also need to know.
You would be amazed at the amount of money sitting in state treasuries and trusts because families don’t know it exists. One quarter of all life insurance benefits go unclaimed. According to the SEC, as many as 3 million stockholders are entitled to unclaimed stock worth $10 billion. Government agencies are holding $60 billion in unclaimed property and missing money. $500 million in Social Security benefit checks go unclaimed every year and less than 1% of U.S. Savings Bond holders are successfully notified when the bonds reach maturity.
Somebody is entitled to that money.
Ensure your estate knows what you have and where it is. Create a personal financial record of all your assets and property. List them to establish proof of ownership. Identify the location of their physical whereabouts. Create authority for at least one other person to gain access if you can’t.
The most useful tool for that purpose is personal record keeping software. Paper records are easily lost, damaged or destroyed. Digital records are secure from prying eyes. You can back up digital records and keep protection copies in safe locations. Record keeping software runs on your own computer, at home, without connection to the internet. Several layers of encryption guard against intrusion. Your records are password protected so only you can access them. But, you can create access for other authorized parties through passwords that you control.
Record keeping software has other advantages. Namely, it provides an organizing framework to help you know what information to keep track of. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. Software makes easy work of what can otherwise be an agonizing, stressful task. Other benefits include additional categories beside Financial Records where you can enter, store, organize and maintain other information important to your family’s well-being. Medical and health records, for example or insurance and retirement records, or emergency contact numbers and living and last wishes.
A complete PFR will ensure nothing gets lost or forgotten and that transitions are smooth and hassle-free. You don’t want to leave your estate in such a condition as to delay or obfuscate transfer of assets. Personal record keeping software is a program that helps you get organized and gather the details of your financial records all in one place.
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