Recently a client asked us for help. A simple matter, her father had died, and before he died he told her that she would get the proceeds of his $300,000 life insurance policy.
Our client filed the form only to be told she was not the beneficiary. The beneficiary was her father’s former girlfriend. What we did we do for her? Nothing. Her father never changed the form and the daughter and her children received nothing. Sad but true. Stories such as this are quite common.
The moral? Never, ever rely on your memory or your parent’s memory. Before you actually need to read the documents, look at them , and verify their accuracy with the appropriate company, agency or bank. Even the documents kept at home might not be last ones signed.
The same caution applies to wills and trusts and deeds.
Discuss your documents with your family and let everyone know where all the secrets are buried before you are buried. If you are thinking, “I’ll do that next week (month, or year), just think about how many dollars and valuables are “buried” somewhere, and have never been found? Think about how many safety deposit boxes are turned over to the state annually.
Okay, so this is all reality far outdoing fiction. If you do not want to create your own reality TV show, please call me, Barry Gordon at 617-786-0800. I will work with you to write a better script.