financial tip of the week...

by Genya Harley 

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Hello All,
Thanks again for reading my tip of the week. I really appreciate your comments and feedback. Some of you are my clients and I hope that you have found my commitment, passion for your growth and service to you valuable.

If you read my Tip of the Week when I discussed getting your "house in order" a couple of weeks ago, I talked about the need for life insurance, critical illness etc.

Today I want to tell you a story and then I would like for you to take a moment to think about this story, then get on the phone talk to some of your close family members, call me and maybe have a family meeting.
Roughly five years ago a friend of mine had an uncle to pass away who wasn't married, he didn't have any children. He only owned a house, he had some pension money stashed away in the bank, along with some cash. In fact, the man didn't even own a car. He didn't have a Will or a life insurance policy. He didn't think he needed one.
One of his neighbors came by to check on him and found him dead, it was determined that he passed away from a heart attack and had been dead for about a day or two before he was discovered.
He had a sister and 2 brothers that were still living, he was one of 6 children. The sister lived nearby and helped him out by taking him to the store and errands. The 2 brothers lived some distance away.

The uncle told his sister that if he should ever pass away he had some money in the bank she could use to bury him and so the story goes....
After the uncle passed away, the family called a meeting, they hired an probate/estate attorney.
Here's what happened over one year:

1. The sister was named Administrator of his estate and was given access to his bank account for only the sole purpose of obtaining funds to pay for his funeral expenses. The funeral home will always get their money! 
1.The family allowed other family members "first dibs" on the contents in his house.
2.The rest of the contents in the home got sold off in an estate sale. The money from the sale sat in an account for 6 months.
3. The house was cleaned up and put up for sale. The house got SOLD for a $80k profit. The money from the sale sat in an account for 6 months.
4. The attorney had to list all debts to be paid including all TAXES.
5. The attorney was ordered by the court to find all HEIRS to the Uncle including children of his deceased siblings. Do you ever see those ads in the newspaper where they are searching for relatives of a deceased person?
6. After everything was settled with the estate after A YEAR...the court awarded each sibling living and the living descendants of the deceased a percentage of the estate....and so the story goes.

Ok, so you are reading this and you are thinking ...And???? 

Please read go back and read all of the key words I have highlighted in BOLD print. There are many lessons to learn from this story of what NOT to do....or what you should do with your finances while you are living.

The main reason I told you the story is to emphasize the point that you absolutely have to have life insurance and if you have children under the age of 21 and you haven't set up a WILL, please do not delay. Find a good estate attorney or check out
Please note for example, if you are a single mother of 3 and they are all under 21 and you have a policy with the 3 children listed as the sole beneficiaries, if you pass away, the life insurance company will put the money in a TRUST until they turn 18. Some companies can hold it in trust until they are  21 or even age 25.  Is that $100k policy you set up going to help them while they are aged 5, 10, and 12???

Check/update your beneficiaries on all your policies and accounts (IRA, 401k, bank etc.) Think about who you want to have as Administrator over your estate or Power of Attorney for you if you become critically ill. This is very, very important.
Banks and financial institutions will not turn over any information to anyone who is not listed on your account/s. They do not care if you are mother, sister or brother.

Get your house in order.
Hey Folks, we all know that the next day is not promised to us and Life Insurance and any wealth we accumulate should be left for the living, especially our children. Life insurance is the only vehicle in which you can pass money onto your heirs TAX FREE! 

If there is anyone out there over the age of 65 or you know someone over age 65 and you/they want to explore some options to make sure your/their money gets passed on to your/their heirs without tax burdens, call me or email me.

I want to help. Call me or email me to set up a time to review your insurance & financial plans. I am available to meet with you & your family, church, community organization etc.

I welcome your questions and comments. financial health & wealth seminar is coming soon

If you would like more information or if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please call me or email me at 773-251-1865 or

As always - be safe, use wisdom!

Genya Harley
Financial Consultant
W&S Financial Group
Orland Park, IL

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