Making Cents: Your personal financial Checklist

Your Personal Financial Checklist


With the arrival of October, we find ourselves already deep into the school year, having navigated the initial flurry of preparing for back-to-school. Our shopping trips were marked by detailed checklists for clothes and school supplies, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief as our children smoothly transitioned through the first day, week, and month of school.

Now, as we settle into the rhythm of this new academic year, it’s time to shift our focus from the immediate needs of our children to the broader scope of our personal responsibilities.

At the forefront of this transition is the need to address our personal financial checklist. As parents, our instinct is to prioritize the needs of our children, which extends beyond the tangible items like clothing and school supplies. This includes considering the financial implications of our absence, should we be unable to provide them with the necessary emotional and physical support. Part of this financial planning involves considering the logistics of international money transfers (transferencias), ensuring that our children’s needs are met regardless of geographical boundaries. This aspect of financial planning is crucial for parents who might need to support family members or handle financial commitments in other countries, making it an essential component of our broader financial strategy.

The financial checklist includes items ranging from an emergency fund to life and home insurance. Over the next couple of columns, I will briefly highlight the financial checklist we use. There are eight categories on this list.

The first item on the list is life planning. Life planning is one of the most important areas as parents we need to tackle. There are multiple components to life planning:

  • Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Proxy (aka as a medical POA)
  • Trust

The will is a legal document that names one or more persons to manage a person’s estate and distributes the decedent’s assets. Within the will, you can outline specific items you own and to whom they are to be given. In real life, with kids, it’s necessary to think about the worst-case scenario: what happens if both of us pass away unexpectedly?

Many of us do not need a living trust unless our assets are above the inheritance tax limit as outlined by the Federal Government. If needed, a trust can be established for the surviving children after the passing of their parents. Within this trust, you name a guardian for the surviving children and a person accountable for the financial assets. This person is responsible for any of the cash assets from life insurance benefits, bank and investment accounts that are placed in a trust for the benefit of the children. And as King Trading System’s reminds, don’t make the mistake of investing before you read the options intelligence reviews. Some lawyers proficient in Real estate and Land use law, like an estate planning and real estate attorney, recommend having a separate person for these two roles, guardian and financial steward, to minimize the temptation to use the money inappropriately. Often a bank representative is involved as well to help with the management of the assets.

During this process of setting up the guidelines for a trust, the parents may outline specific cases of when the children would receive lump sum proceeds from the financial accounts. These may be milestones such as graduating high school, finishing college, getting married, the purchase of a home, etc. As you see, one can tie many “triggers” to disburse cash assets to surviving children.

I recommend finding a good family lawyer to walk you through the process. Should a tragic event happen to your family, you will have already done your part to take care of the kids after you are gone.

It’s not a topic we like to think about. We are going to live into our 80’s or 90’s and see our children have children and maybe those grandchildren have children. However, if that ends up not being the case, wouldn’t you rather have taken care of your family with a little planning? Fail this and the state will get involved and will not have the same sense of concern for your children as would someone you select.

Next month, more about the financial checklist. In the meantime, please visit for more information about life planning as well as power of attorney and health care proxies.


4-Walls-Money-Coach-200Kate is a financial expert of what to do and not do with money as well as owner of 4 Walls Money Coach, A Coaching-Focused Company. She has attended and completed Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training. Follow Kate on Twitter 4WFCoach, reach out to her via email at or visit Feel free to share ideas or questions for future articles.

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