By Laurie Montoya, President and Founder of BikerDown Foundation
This information is for those of you who don’t have your affairs in order. Make sure all bank accounts have direct beneficiaries. The beneficiary need only go to the bank with your death certificate and an ID of their own.
– TOD = Transfer On Death deed if you own a home. Completing this document and filing it with the court saves your heirs thousands. This document allows you to transfer ownership of your home to your designee. All they need to do is take their ID and your Death Certificate, and then they will have the deed signed. Doing this will avoid the home having to go through probate.
– Living Will: Allows one to put in writing precisely what you want to be done if you cannot speak for yourself regarding healthcare decisions.
– Durable Power of Attorney: Allows one to designate a person to make legal decisions if one is no longer competent to do so.
– Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This document allows one to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for their person.
– Last Will and Testament: Designates to whom personal belongings will go too.
– Funeral Planning Declaration: States one’s wishes as far as the disposition of the body and the service/s.
– If the above documents are completed, you can AVOID probate. If all the above is not done, you have to open an estate account at the bank. All money that doesn’t have direct beneficiaries goes into this account. You have to have your executor open the estate account. The executor also has to publicize your death in the newspaper or post-publication at the courthouse to allow anyone to make a claim on your property. – It’s a complete nuisance.
– Make a list of all banks and account numbers, all investment institutions with account numbers, lists of credit cards, utility accounts, etc. Leave clear instructions as to how and when these things are paid. Make sure heirs know where life insurance policies are located.
– Make 100% sure SOMEONE knows your Apple ID, bank ID account logins, and passwords!
– Make sure you have titles for all automobiles, campers, motorcycles, etc
– MOST IMPORTANTLY!- Talk with those closest to you and make all your wishes KNOWN. Talk to those you’ve designated and those close to you whom you did not designate. – Do this to explain why your decisions were made and to avoid any lingering questions or hurt feelings.
BikerDown is always here to help injured riders and their families in the most significant time of need. Please think of your family first and your enjoyment of the ride 2nd. If you know of an injured rider that might need our assistance, please do a help request at www.bikerdown.org.