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In the Event of Your Death ... A Woman’s Guide to Getting Her Affairs in Order

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Woman’s Guide to Getting Her Affairs in Order

emoticon Rhonda’s Rules is a checklist developed in response to the unexpected and tragic loss of a loving mother, sister, daughter and friend. Rhonda’s family was forced to navigate bureaucratic red tape to protect her three children, while dealing with their grief.

emoticon rotect yourself and your loved ones ....

This story was on Wendy Williams show of a young woman named Rhonda who was murdered and her family had to fight to protect her children to get what was rightfully theirs after she died.

In the honor of her death, star Jones created this: Rhonda's Rules.

Rhonda’s story:

Rhonda’s Rules: A Woman’s Guide to Getting Her Affairs in Order created by Star Jones
June 4, 2013

Categories: Star's Corner

NAPW = National Association of Professional Women

Dedicated in loving memory to Rosaline “Rhonda” Ransom Lee, who was
tragically murdered May 26, 2013. Rhonda left three children, a loving
family and many friends to mourn her cherished memory.

Estate planning is often an uncomfortable task to tackle, especially if you are leading a healthy, happy life. Tomorrow is not promised. Although this is something most of us would rather not face, all women should proactively engage in estate planning to protect their families and assets.

Estate planning, including planning for unexpected events, means proactively documenting your wishes and legal needs for your estate and your family. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your affairs are in order and your loved ones are protected and provided for is invaluable. While this type of planning can be emotionally charged, keeping a pragmatic perspective can help you plan responsibly.

Rhonda’s Rules is a checklist developed in response to the unexpected and tragic loss of a loving mother, sister, daughter and friend. Rhonda’s family was forced to navigate bureaucratic red tape to protect her three children, while dealing with their grief.

emoticon so to protect your loved ones .... here is the list: emoticon

emoticon PERSONAL
Write a will (and update as your life and circumstances change).
Create Testamentary Trust for any minor children (if necessary).
Record information about your lawyer, accountant, financial planner or financial advisor, including his/her contact information.

Write a letter detailing what you want done with your personal possessions after your death. If you want a niece to have your engagement ring or your god-child to have your precious pet, put it in this letter. Give a copy of the letter to your lawyer and have it notarized if necessary.

Establish durable power of attorney to direct assets and investments.
Write a living will or a health-care proxy (medical power of attorney).
List all your pets, include their veterinarian names and vaccination history.
Specify who should have access to private/personal information (computers, passwords, finances, etc.).

List all irreplaceable items that are locked up (either in your home or in a safety deposit box) including jewelry, heirlooms and documents such as marriage license, birth certificates, passports, stocks, bonds and death certificates. Make a photocopy of those documents for your household files and consider taking pictures of the jewelry or other items.

List of login and passwords. (Don’t put this information in your will, which becomes public information. Put in a separate letter.) Be sure to include:
Personal website login information
Social Media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.)
Email (i.e., Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL, etc.)
Websites (i.e., NAPW, LinkedIn, Ebay, Amazon, PayPal, Netflix, etc.)
Devices: tablets, iPods, phones, desktops, laptops
Find a safe and easily accessible place for your important documents.
Identify and document the location of home desks, hidden cabinets and drawers, home safe with combination or locks and any other non-obvious document storage locations. Include name, address and keys for storage lockers.
Take a physical inventory of items worth $100 or more.
Other important information:
List all dates and places of birth for yourself and all minor children
Relative’s names and contact information
Employers with dates of employment and employee ID if applicable
All property, mortgage information, utilities with names of companies, account numbers with schedules of payments
Recent tax returns
Label your keys for your car(s), office, house, vacation home, boat, etc.:
Name and contact information for the building superintendent or community manager
A list of all regular deliveries such as newspapers, milk and all regular service providers such as lawn services, waste pickup and snow removal.
Discuss plans for death with your heirs and/or close family/friends to prevent disputes and let them know your expectations.
If you wish to be buried, buy a burial plot or secure a mausoleum.
Plan your funeral/memorial service.
Send any lists and or wills to the estate administrator (dated and signed), give one to your spouse/family member and keep one for your records.

emoticon FINANCIAL
Review your life insurance policy and make sure it will cover all of your funeral expenses, and any additional insurance you might wish to carry.
Create a list of life insurance, annuities, disability insurance, including issuer, policy number, broker and contact information.
Take inventory of non-physical assets (saving’s accounts, gift cards, store credits, secret stash of cash) and create a map or outline of where your money is kept, saved, held or deposited.
Outline entitlements predicated by your death (brokerage accounts, 401k, pensions, IRA assets, trusts, bank accounts, life insurance policies, long term care policies, home owner/auto/disability/health policies).
Make a list of open credit cards/debts/ auto loans/ home equity lines of credit (do this by running a free credit report online):
Contact your credit card company(s) to create “Authorized Account Managers” who are empowered to handle basic maintenance on your credit card account
Make a list of organizations that you belong to (NAPW, AHA, AARP, Sorority, College Alumni, etc.) or that you support, as many organizations have accidental life insurance benefits.
Review/update beneficiary for all your accounts/policies at least every two years.
Review/update beneficiary for all your accounts/policies whenever a major life event occurs (marriage, divorce, death or birth).
Investigate whether accounts can be set up to “transfer upon death” to avoid probate issues (avoid costs being taken out of estate).
Meet with an attorney or financial advisor to set up the appropriate trusts in the name of beneficiaries to allow for less of the estate to be taxed or distributed by the court.

Think about all of your job responsibilities and determine what you could do to help your boss and co-workers fulfill these responsibilities if you were to suddenly and unexpectedly leave your job.
Document policy/procedures of key workflow or key employees.
If you own your business, meet with a lawyer and have a document drawn up that explicitly says what will happen to your company if you are no longer capable of running it.
Develop a business continuity plan to mitigate the risk caused by sudden death, natural disaster or act of terrorism.

emoticon CHILDREN
Appoint a Custodial Guardian for the child’s “person” and for their “property” for any minor children to avoid court appointed guardians.
If you are single and you don’t want the child’s other biological parent to be the custodial guardian, you must document why they are unfit or abusive and thus not a desirable guardian.
Create a list of people (in order) you want as the Custodial Guardian in case your first choice is not available or deemed inappropriate by the court.
Create a list of your child(ren)’s doctors and health care providers:
Create list of your child(ren)’s medication, dosage and medical conditions.
Write a letter detailing any special circumstances that you would want your child(ren) to know in your absence:
Birth (i.e., adoption, IVF, donor egg, donor sperm, surrogacy)
Genetic tendencies
History of mental health/illness, heart disease, cancer in family
Family Tree/History

emoticon Disclaimer: This list is not exhaustive. Please consult the appropriate professionals for advice pertaining to your specific needs.
Tagged in: , death, estate, murdered, Rhonda's rules, Rosaline Ransom Lee, trust, will, women's guide

emoticon Protect yourself and your loved ones in case you depart.
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