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Major life events such as the birth or adoption of a child, changing jobs, or receipt of an inheritance often provoke a review of our finances.  Outside these occasions, many of us tend to let things go along as they have been, making individual decisions, but without a regular review of our entire situation.  As we work with our clients, we find that there is often some aspect of their finances which needs addressing whether that is a change of portfolio objectives, a review of a special investment, or an update to a will which didn't recognize the grandchildren who had been born in the last fifteen years.


In assembling these questions, we intend to give you the tools for a self-review.  If the answers to these provoke further questions in your mind, please give us a call; we'd welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation and needs with you.


·      Do you have a will?

·      Was it prepared by an attorney?

·      When was the last time you reviewed it?

·      Have there been major changes in your life that would affect your planning? Birth of children, grandchildren, divorce, etc.?


·      If you have named an individual as trustee or executor, is that person aware of his or her responsibilities? Is he/she willing and able to perform them?

·      Do you have a durable power of attorney? (This allows someone else to handle your financial affairs should you become unable to do so.)

·      Do you have a durable power of attorney for healthcare? (This allows someone else to make healthcare decisions for you should you become unable to do so.)

·      Do you have a living will? (This documents your end-of-life wishes for care.)

·      Is your insurance coverage--life, disability, health, liability, long-term care--appropriate to your obligations, risks and circumstances?

·      Do you know who your designated beneficiaries are for your:


            Retirement plans: 401(k), 403(b), pension

            Life insurance policies


·      What is your current net worth?

·      What percentage of your net worth is your debt?

·      Over time, has this percentage of debt been increasing? What about the dollar amount of debt?

·      What are your investment objectives? Accumulate for college, retirement? Provide current income?

·      In addition to risk and return, every investment also has a certain liquidity, or accessibility. Cash and money market funds are the most liquid investments, i.e. they are readily available whereas real estate which is more time consuming and cumbersome to sell is illiquid. Are your investments sufficiently liquid for your current needs and objectives?

·      Have you reviewed your entire investment portfolio to see if it is structured to meet your current objectives?

·      If your total family assets are large enough ($3,500,000 in 2009) your estate may incur taxes at your death if your family's assets are not titled suitably. Have you addressed asset titling to minimize transfer taxes?

·      Do you make your major charitable contributions in appreciated stock, rather than in cash?

·      Do you have a list of all of your accounts and financial assets?

·      Does your family know where to locate important documents?  Wills, insurance policies, bank and investment accounts, etc.




At Independence Trust Company, we assist our clients in managing and transferring their wealth.  Please call us at 615.591.0044 with questions or to schedule a meeting.  © 2001 - 2004, Independence Trust Company.


Independence Trust Company

P.O. Box 682188

Franklin, TN   37068-2188


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