As a recent article in Forbes Magazine points out, people who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses have several financial issues they should address. Though it’s not always possible to address them quickly or easily, getting advice from your accountant, estate planning attorney, and other professionals will go a long way in ensuring that your family is looked after once you die. Here are a couple of questions you’ll want to answer if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal disease.
Question 1: Is my estate ready for probate?
If you own specific types of property, new owners cannot take possession of the property until the property has gone through the probate process. All states have probate laws that govern this process, and all states have different types of probate that may make it easier for your family. Additionally, you may be able to avoid probate transfers entirely if you create an adequate estate plan in time.
Question 2: Did I name the right beneficiaries?
If you have life insurance policies, retirement plans, or any transfer on death account that names a beneficiary, you need to select a beneficiary that is able to own the property. For example, minor children cannot inherit these assets directly and will need someone else to manage the property on their behalf. If your life insurance policy, for example, named the child as a beneficiary, the court will have to name a guardian to manage the insurance payout until the child is old enough to do so on his or her own.