PasswordOddCouple

The Password Is…


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PasswordOddCoupleThe one sheet o’ paper you should fill out for your heirs is one with all of your usernames, passwords, and security questions to all the websites where you have assets.

You especially want to do this for loyalty programs such as frequent flyer mile, rental car and hotel point accounts.  Those miles/points can be worth thousands in free flights, rentals and stays.  Heck, use them to bring in family members in for the funeral.

As Airfarewatchdog reported, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing regarding inheriting frequent flyer miles.  Airlines’ policies vary from charging to transfer miles to saying the miles are forfeited on death.  Some airlines contradict their policy in practice.  They won’t give you a straight answer.  So don’t ask.

Sign into the deceased’s account and use their miles/points.  Just like how Aunt Millie could sign into her own account and get a plane ticket for you, in your name while she was alive, you could do the same for yourself after she passes.

Related topic: AwardWallet is a handy service that organizes hundreds of loyalty reward programs into one place.  So you can see exactly what you have where.  You can track also track other people’s accounts.  I use it to track my accounts as well as those of some family members.  It’s pretty handy.  Click here to try AwardWallet.

Living Will DNR Tatt

A Will is NOT a Living Will


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living_will_DNR_tattAs most people know, a Will tells those you left behind who gets what – of your stuff.  A Living Will is completely differnet, or different.  Thanks spellchecker.

A Living Will is the document that speaks for you when you are incapacitated, telling loved ones and medical personnel what you would and would not like done to and for you.  On hospital TV dramas, there is always hoopla around someone having a “DNR” – a Do Not Resuscitate order.  The DNR is in the Living Will.

Personally, I don’t want to be trapped in my body.  I don’t want to think of the next day’s post overnight, then blink it out like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly guy.  My greatest fear is that I will be locked in my body, unable to communicate, and somebody turns on an I Love Lucy marathon on my TV.  Oh, kill me.  Seriously, pull the plug!  “Vitameatavegamin?”  Oh sweet baby Jesus, take me now!!

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Nicholsonshining Small

Trustees Gone Wild!


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nicholsonshining-smallIf you set up a Revocable Living Trust, make sure you choose a Trustee who will actually carry out your wishes.  This sounds obvious, but some Trustees go rogue.  Get a load of what a friend of mine went through.  (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Just like on Dragnet… or some other TV show that hasn’t been on the air for 40 years.)

Joe’s aunt (Auntie Jane) had a Revocable Living Trust.  As you know from a recent post, she set this up so her assets would avoid Probate completely, passing easily, and tax-free to the beneficiaries she named in her Trust.

Auntie Jane had no husband or children.  20 years ago, she named Joe’s cousin Biff as the Successor Trustee – the person in charge after she died.  Biff would tidy up her affairs and disburse the inheritance to the beneficiaries.  Auntie Jane passed away.

Her Trust clearly stated that “only non-beneficiary Trustees may be compensated.”  Because Biff was a beneficiary, he would not get paid for tidying up her affairs.  This is common.  Most family members who are given the position of Trustee think of it as an honor and/or a duty.

Well… Biff didn’t like that idea, so he hired an attorney on the Trust’s dime to “advise” him.  The result: Biff started charging the Trust $65 an hour for his time, ultimately

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Death Week – Get A Living Trust


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If you own a house, you should look into forming a Revocable Living Trust.  It can save you tens of thousands of dollars.  Your heirs will thank you for it.  And, you’ll look pretty smart from the grave!

Here’s my video on this fun topic from a few years ago:


> Probate Shortcuts – By State or click here, choose your state, click Probate Shortcuts
> Allowable Probate Fees – California
> Use a Revocable Living Trust to Avoid Repeating Probate in Several States
> LegalZoom & Nolo can also help

4.2 Mother May I Avoid Probate Part 2 Floating Head

Death Week – PODs & TODs


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Mother May I Avoid Probate - Part 2 - Floating HeadTo avoid Probate, put the designation of P.O.D. (Payable On Death) on your bank accounts – checking, savings, CDs – and T.O.D. (Transfer On Death) on your brokerage accounts & stocks, and simply name beneficiaries on your 401k & IRA retirement accounts. Then when you keel over, those assets will pass automatically to the beneficiaries you designated. Some states even allow you to put a TOD on your car’s registration.

All you need to do to get those designations is simply ask for them. It’s virtually that easy. Oh, and it’s FREE!  Doing this for yourself, as well as for the geezers in your life, can save thousands.  It will also make life mucho easier for those who are left to tidy up after one takes the dirt nap.

Enjoy my floating head as you check out the video I did on this topic a few years ago.

> States that allow TOD on vehicles
> Securities and Exchange Commission – Regarding Transfer On Death (TOD) Registration
> Probate Shortcuts – By State or click here, choose your state, click Probate Shortcuts
> Allowable Probate Fees – California
> Allowable Probate Fees – Ohio
> Avoid Probate with Payable On Death (POD)
> LegalZoom & Nolo can help

4.1 Mother May I Avoid Probate.CA + OH

Death Week – Avoiding The P-Word


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Mother May I Avoid Probate.CA + OHDying is something you don’t think about when you are young, and you avoid thinking about when you are old.  As Jim Morrison said, “No one here gets out alive.”

It’s been almost two years since I talked about Trusts, Wills, POAs, POD & TOD, and avoiding Probate.  Yes, these are things grown-ups should address.

Even more pressing, you should make sure that the geezers in your life have these ducks in a row.  Following through can save you headaches, frustration, and thousands of dollars.

This is one of the first Chip’s Money Tips videos I did a few years ago.  It’s about Avoiding Probate.  Stay tuned.  I’ll cover the other topics this week.

> Probate Shortcuts – By State or click here, choose your state, click Probate Shortcuts
> Allowable Probate Fees – California
> Allowable Probate Fees – Ohio
> Use a Revocable Living Trust to Avoid Repeating Probate in Several States
> LegalZoom & Nolo can help

Thumb Annie

Arbitrage !!


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Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card and more.  Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.

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LTCI Einstein

Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?


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My dad’s death last year not only made me and my siblings 40-something orphans, but it also marked the end of my parents’ Nursing Home Era (1998-2011).  Until his death, either my mom or dad was in a nursing home for almost 11 years of that 13 year span.  That blew.

It was also very expensive.  My mom shelled out $500,000 cash over the years, and her place was neither shmancy nor fancy.  My dad “only” paid $22,000 per year because he had Long Term Care Insurance.

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Dice Rolling Dice Red

Geezer-Gambling with God and Insurance


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When is it a good idea to keep paying on a life insurance policy?  My pappy had a Term policy.  After it ran its 20 year course, he kept making payments on it to provide for my mom in case he died.  Then she beat him to the Pearly Gates.  Now what?  Do we cancel his policy?  It had no cash value, and neither I nor my siblings relied upon his financial support.

What happened next is what some would immediately deem tasteless and crass.  I pulled out his policy and calculated how long we could pay his premiums until we broke even on the tax-free, six-figure pot o’ gold at the end of his EKG rainbow!  You heard me.  Okay, now that might have been a li’l crass – but my pappy would have laughed.

I know most folks would not do what I did.  That is one reason why some of the tallest buildings on city skylines belong to insurance companies.

How long could we pay premiums before this “Geezer Gamble with God and the Insurance Company” became a bad financial undertaking?  Pardon the pun.  Ahh, Gallows Humor.  It was…

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2011 Recap Estate Planning Still From Mother May I 150 W

2011 Review: My Pappy, PODs and TODs


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I wanna recap some 2011 Highlights:  My father passed away.  Wait, what?  Allow me to rephrase.  My pappy passed away in 2011, but we had his financial world in order.  It was free to do his “Estate Planning”.  That is something most every adult should do.  It’s a New Year.  Whaddyasay you bang it out?  Don’t cost nuthin’.  When all was said and done, we saved my dad’s estate, and thereby me and my siblings, $14,000.

My videos “Mother May I… Avoid Probate – Part One”, “Part Two” and “Part Three” will tell you what you need to know to save your heirs thousands.  You also might wanna check out the video of my pappy in healthier days karaoke-ing “Chantilly Lace”.

Your heirs will thank you for it.  And you’ll look pretty smart from the grave!

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