By Stephen Kyne
The end of another year is rapidly approaching, and just as you cross items off your checklist and prepare your home for the winter, it’s also important to complete maintenance items to prepare your finances to close-out 2018.
An often-overlooked task is to review your beneficiary declarations each year. Families grow, as new members are added, and shrink with death and divorce, which means that beneficiary and transfer-on-death declarations can easily become outdated and no longer reflect your true wishes.
Since these declarations are a matter of contract, they will overrule what your will may say. So, even if you’ve updated your will to exclude an ex-spouse, but you left them as beneficiary on your IRA, your new spouse won’t be able to inherit those assets, but the ex will, and it can’t be challenged in probate.
Another piece of financial housekeeping is to begin to gather documents you’ll be needing just after the new year to prepare your taxes. Compile receipts for medical bills, tuition payments, child care and charitable contributions, among others.