Author Archive: admin

What Affects Brake Pads?

If acceleration is applied then it’s obvious that the brakes will get used too. Brake pads will get worn out the most because of the force that is used to decelerate the multi-tonne machine. There are many things that could affect brake pads and should be noted whilst driving.

Above all, brake pads are mainly affected by heat and friction. To stop the car would require a calliper that has a strong enough device to clamp onto the brake disc or rotor. Friction causes wear on any surface because the two sides are rubbing against each other. Wearing out the surface of the brake pad could take away the compounds that assist with deceleration. Friction is used between the disc and the pad so when the calliper squeezes the two pads onto the disc, it will slow down the car.

The more you use the braking system, the hotter the pads will get as friction causes heat. The high temperature also decreases the performance because of a term called brake fade. The driver will also have to apply the pedal much sooner so that he brakes on time to avoid collision.

A common term for this in the vehicle industry is brake fade. This means that when the pads reach a high temperature, the binding agents or resins that are used to bind the compounds together convert to gas which could cause the pads to slide uncontrollably. This is usually something that happens once or twice and usually settles itself.

Did you know that brake fluid could also damage and affect the pads? If there is fluid on the pads it usually means that there is a leak which could compromise braking quality. The stickiness on the brake pad could also accumulate dirt and grim over time which will also affect the quality of your deceleration speed.

If you suspect that something is affecting the brake pads then you will notice different sounds. Sounds that you should listen out for include squeaking when applying the pedal, squealing and metallic grinding. These sounds could also be related to disc or rotor problems. Longer distances to stop could also be a cause of worn out pads.

As you brake, over time, the surfaces will get completely worn out. Once worn out you will need to get a brake pad replacement so that driving and stopping can be safe once again. Regular maintenance is necessary to avoid any experience with problematic parts.

Looking For A Safe And Secure Self Storage Facility?

Self-storage facilities offer lots of convenience to all kinds of individuals, whether for short term storage needs or long term storage needs. Apart from being easily accessible, the issue of security is of utmost importance. The last thing you want is to find that your items got stolen or have suffered accidents and other kinds of damages that would have been avoidable. Whether you are looking to store perishable goods or not, it is important that you find a secure facility that will give you peace of mind that each one of your items will be intact when it is time to claim.

The security features the facility has play the biggest role in how safe and secured your items remain. Therefore, when looking for a storage facility, the features should be part of your selection criteria. Below are some of the features that will make a difference in terms of keeping your things secure.

Facility alarm system – A facility that has a reliable surveillance system will definitely offer you peace of mind, even when storing important items like your car. Security cameras complete with an alarm system ensure that all activities are recorded and monitored all around the facility. With such in place it is very hard for any illegal activity to go unnoticed and even when there is a threat the right action is taken before things go bad.

Unit alarm system – Apart from the overall security system around the facility, alarms for each unit within the facility offers that added security. Units that are individually alarmed are much better because you will also get alerted in case of anything for the right action to be taken in time. Most facilities offer units that are alarmed, but it is important to check just to be sure if it is something you consider important.

Strong fences – It may not mean much, but a high and strong fence can work very well in deterring unauthorized entries. Some facilities pay enough attention around the gate and forget that unwanted people can gain access from any other part of the fence. A self-storage complex with a strong fence that is hard to tamper offers more comfort for users.

Secured gate – It can be manned or it can be have a locking system that can only be unlocked by people who have access to the right code. A gate that is keypad equipped ensures that only those who have authorization get to access the facility, reducing the chances of intruders with ill motives. Live security guards at the gate also make very good alternatives and they can also be placed in different other parts of the facility to maintain security and order.

Fire prevention system – Besides your items being robbed, there is always the risk of fires. When looking for a facility, therefore you may want to ensure that it has prevention equipment like fire alarms, smoke detectors and even sprinkler systems that can put out the fire or at least reduce the risks.

Storage units Casa Grande come equipped with individual alarms for that added security that every person yearns for. Whatever goods or items you wish to store self storage Casa Grande has all necessary features to give you the peace you deserve.

Negotiating Better Independent Sponsor Economics

When an independent sponsor is raising capital for a new acquisitions, economics and compensation packages often vary widely based on the background of the sponsor, the deal dynamics and the capital providers involved.

We’ll explain some of the basic components of a typical compensation package, as well as describe six ways to improve your ability to credibly negotiate better independent sponsor economics.

1. Focus on acquiring businesses that fall in industries or situations where you have extensive experience, relationships or a track record. Unless there’s a lengthy track record across multiple industries or types of situations, it can be difficult for a private equity firm or family office to get behind an independent sponsor with no experience in the industry of the business they’re raising capital for. Negotiating better economics will be a lot easier if you can demonstrate why a capital partner should support you over someone else, or a management team directly.

2. Bring a veteran operating partner or executive with deep industry experience to the table. If you don’t have a deep background in the industry of the target company, bringing in an industry executive who will either augment the company’s leadership team or serve in a strategic operating partner capacity is a great way to add value to debt and equity capital partners.

3. Find a proprietary opportunity at an attractive valuation. Bringing an opportunity to a capital provider that’s been widely marketed by a capable investment bank is usually a non-starter. In many cases the private equity firm or family office will have seen the opportunity directly. Unless there is some legitimate reason why the capital partner should back the independent sponsor directly, save yourself the time and look elsewhere. Focus on direct opportunities or situations that haven’t been widely auctioned to the free world.

4. Develop a thoughtful growth and value creation strategy. There’s nothing worse than fundless sponsor who throws a lot of deals against the wall, hoping one sticks. It wastes capital partners’ time and damages the credibility of the independent sponsor. If you intend to discuss an opportunity with a debt or equity financing source, you should be able to articulate why you feel the acquisition is compelling and what specific strategies could be implemented to grow the business and create value.

5. Identify and possibly tee-up other complimentary add-on acquisitions. Under the right circumstances, making add-on acquisitions can be a great way to grow the size of a company, achieve scale and unlock value. For an independent sponsor, having a possible follow-on acquisition opportunity or two available can be a great way for capital partners to increase the value of the initial investment, and potentially, put out larger dollar amounts. Having other opportunities lined up may put you in a better position with capital partners when negotiating fundless sponsor economics.

6. Run a coordinated and systematic process to raise the capital. We see independent sponsors or executives frequently who partner with the first capital provider that agrees to do the deal. While this sometimes makes sense because of time constraints, it usually leads to the independent sponsor getting squeezed on economics, such as a carried interest, management fee or deal fee. Running a more formal process allows the independent sponsor to both: a) find the capital partner that is the best fit with the sponsor and the business and; b) determine what “market” economics are for that particular situation.

If you don’t have time to run a coordinated capital raising process, or you don’t have the breadth of relationships with debt and equity capital partners to know whether or not you’re being offered market-based independent sponsor economics, reach out to an investment bank that focuses exclusively on independent sponsor financing.

In most cases, the private capital markets for fundless sponsor led transactions are extremely inefficient. Very often, there are multiple ways to structure a transaction and specific types of capital partners that make for more complimentary partnerships.

Access Capital Partners is a middle market investment bank focused exclusively on raising capital for fundless or independent sponsors, operating executives, management teams and family offices.

We’ve leveraged years of experience in raising capital across a wide variety of situations to develop a focused effort tailored to the unique needs of independent or fundless sponsors.

Check Engine Light On? Common Checks and Fixes To Try Before You Freak Out

It stands to reason most of us have spent time at the auto repair shop listening to our service person asking exactly what is going on with our car. Chances are we look at them completely dumbfounded and do not have a clue exactly, What? Is the right thing to say. We, in fact, are likely to be getting over the shock of our trusty reliable automobile experiencing a meltdown. In general, our brow is stuck in a worried frown, our feet may shuffle back and forth and we are having visions of our bank balance sinking into an abyss never to return. An unscheduled trip to the auto repair shop can be a lot less frightening if we learn some simple ways to identify common noises and yes, that dreaded light that signals that our car may have something serious going on. This goes a long way in helping your car repair expert know where to start with assessing your problem.

Probably the moment when most drivers figure out something has gone wrong with their automobile is when the check engine light is staring them in the eye. The dashboard now looks back at you ominously and strikes fear & anxiety in your heart. Although we have all been taught that the appearance of this light spells doom that simply may not be the case. Plenty of things may cause this to occur but it may mean several minor things are in the works, one as simple as leaving off your gas cap and you should definitely check this first before stressing out.

It is important for you to share any problematic warning signs with your technician, did you hear knocking? Was it slow to accelerate? Lurching or squealing? Have your interior lights and car entertainment system been behaving sketchy? Based on these identifications the auto repair technician will run a diagnostic on your automobiles computer. Your car’s computer is the brain for your engine that uses sensors to monitor some of the following:

  • Air Pressure
  • Air Temperature
  • Engine Temperature
  • Climate Control
  • Braking System
  • Electronic System

Having an auto repair technician run a diagnostic on your car’s computer is extremely positive in getting to the root of your problem. Many minor things can be causing the issue such as a faulty oxygen sensor that will probably cost you around $200.00 to $300.00 to repair in a shop and can easily be done in your garage for the most part. It could also be your Mass Air Flow Meter causing the issue with cost estimates in the $200.00 to $300.00 range depending on your particular vehicle, but this part is also generally easy to replace on a do-it-yourself basis and can be done with a low-cost OEM used auto part from a salvage yard and your auto’s repair manual if you are handy.

Once you have a diagnosis, you may be able to relax and gain peace of mind by asking specific questions about the specific costs and time factors of a repair. If it is determined that the repair will be more involved or costly do not be afraid to ask for applicable discounts or offered rebates. Many manufacturers offer incentives for the consumer and repair shop alike. No need to pay full price when savings are involved. Do research on the diagnosis most importantly learn all you can from your experience and keep routine maintenance up to date. Armed with this information you may never need to fear this dashboard light ever again

Crucial Advice You Should Know About Auto Repair

Do not wait for things to get worse if you notice something wrong with your vehicle. If something were to happen to it, when investing your money in a vehicle, it would only make sense to know what to do. Go over this article to find out more about auto repairs and maintain your vehicle. Have a battery charger in your car at all times. Batteries die all the time, but you won’t be in trouble if you can charge it. Make sure you learn the points on your car where the battery charger should be connected.

Ask any questions you have. Find out what caused the issues, and ask what you can do so this does not happen again. Learning how to prevent certain issues will help you save a lot of money. Read the manual for your car and make notes of important pages. The mechanics will need to know specifics from the manual that are unique to your car if you have to get an auto repair. You may also find answers to your problems, inside. A record of maintenance and repairs should be in your car. Some people keep this paperwork in the glove compartment of their car so it is readily available, if needed. Before working on your car, the mechanics who work on your car will need to see your maintenance records. This will facilitate quicker diagnostic processes.

Ask your mechanic if he has had experience working on your type of car. There are many similarities between vehicles but some issues are specific to certain makes and models. If you’re not sure, it may be worth it to pay extra at the dealer. Make sure to get multiple estimates if you’re having serious repairs done on your vehicle. While most mechanics can be trusted, you might wind up being charged more than is necessary. Find a shop that specializes in your particular make of car. Such shops have a greater chance of knowing how to fix your car. Fixing a headlight or a taillight by yourself is very easy. Doing it yourself is much cheaper than hiring a mechanic, though it’s simpler in some vehicles than others. Ask an experienced friend to give you some pointers.

Before you give your keys to a mechanic, ask about labor and prices rates. Some shops have their rates in conspicuous places, so read carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. You will need to know what to expect on the final bill. Some service shops have estimated times for repair, establish by the manufacturers. Other shops may charge an inflated rate for a minor repair that should be done within a shorter period of time. Just because it is winter does not mean you shouldn’t wash your car. All that buildup is terrible for your car, though your car may get dirty again quickly. Salt and sand lead to rust and abrasions. Prevent ice from forming on your car: dry it thoroughly after washing.

 Even if your car only seems to have a small issue going on, you should definitely have it looked at. Small issues can often turn into larger ones. Do not diagnose car problems yourself. Remember, you are not an expert! Do not assume an issue can be fixed easily, unless you have previous experience with this type of issue. Let the auto repair shop diagnose the problem. Tell them what you’ve observed, and then let them do their job. There are better ways to deal with car problems and you should be better informed about these ways now. Learning tips like these should give you more confidence in dealing with car problems when they occur. Use this advice the next time that you experience car problems.

Use These Handy Tips for a Garage Door Repair

From times immemorial till now, people have had bulky cars and scooters and there was always a need to store them in a place which is quite huge yet not a part of the house, so came the concept of having garages. Garages are quite popular worldwide, some are small, yet some are really spacious and people also store iron boxes and other kinds of stuff which are not used frequently. The garage doors are generally made of a metal or strong wood so that rain or wind cannot cause major harm to it. The doors could be single panelled or even double panelled depending on the need and the space available.

Let us have a look at the materials that are used for the garage door to be able to study further the steps or tips that can be used for repairing them.

Materials used for constructing garage doors-

• Aluminium – If made of aluminium, the cost is quite low, nonrusting and require less maintenance. But they are likely to get damaged.

• Glass and Vinyl- Doors made of these materials are fused units. These are more expensive than the aluminium ones.

• Steel- These doors are more prevalent and also come in a number of sizes and polishes, these are sturdy, safe and economical. Additional power is obtained due to many layers of electrified steel which has a low indicator

• Wood – These doors provide a beautiful and visual appeal but require high maintenance and are very heavy on the pocket. The ones on the lower budget are of inferior quality,

After having a look at the types of materials that are put to use while constructing the doors, we will now ponder about the steps of garage repair and its benefits.

Steps for Garage Door Repair

• Step 1: Door needs to be locked and fix it to the trail.
• Step 2: Untie the steady spring.
• Step 3: Unravel the endless spring.
• Step 4: Detach the springs present in the central bracket.
• Step 5: Protect the twisting tube.
• Step 6: disconnect the former spring.
• Step 7: Fix the spring on left.
• Step 8: Mount a new bearing in the centre.

Even though we have seen the steps, yet a lot of issues can still crop up and all problems associated to springs are not so easy to handle, require a lot of risks and can even be dangerous, so its best to get it done through professionals and it even has its own benefits.

Few of them are listed as below:

Benefits of Garage Door Repair

• Since the professionals are well trained, they are adept at fixing the issues.

• They can identify the nature of the problem and solve it on spot or replace a part if needed.

• Some specific types of tools are required for fixing which could be of a high price and not easily available to the customers but are available to the professionals.

• The experts are well conversant with all sorts of risks which come with the repair, so it is highly recommended to be safe and acquire professional services designed for this.

• Not only will the experts give a new life to the door, but will also offer a guarantee for the same and that way any problems in future can be easily taken care of by just calling them.

Thus, it can be said that even though the repair looks to be a simple process, yet for everybody’s safety it is best to get it done with professionals since doors are very heavy and serious injuries could happen, making life more difficult.

How to Get Development Finance

Introduction

In recent years and following the financial crisis, development finance has become somewhat hard to come by. It used to be a case of simply going to your mortgage lender and procuring the finance you desired (provided your development was realistic of course!). However, these days mortgage and development lenders alike are asking a lot more from borrowers in terms of background checks, experience & income requirements and are seen to be operating on a far more stringent box-tick approach. This lack of willingness to be flexible from the larger banking institutions has created a new breed of development lender who has the ability to act quickly and flexibly for their clients, which is where most developers now go for their financing needs.

What will I need to get development finance?

Depending on your requirements there are a number of different lenders to suit your needs. However, each of these lenders will have different requirements, which is why I have put together a brief list of requirements that most lenders will want. Of course, this varies often dependent on the size of your development but these are all sensible things to have in place nonetheless.

Personal
Some experience in development and evidence of experience

Planning
A site with outline or detailed planning permission
Discharge of relevant planning conditions
Schedule of works
Schedule of costs
Structural Warranty Insurance (for instance Buildzone)
Developers all risk insurance

Funding

Most lenders will expect a minimum 30-40% deposit on the purchase of the site however will usually be able to fund 100% of the build costs

Where do I find lenders?

The problem you will find when looking online is a number of brokers the charge high fees, guised as principal lenders and comparison sites alike. Although they can offer sound advice and get you good deals with associated lenders, you are often better off going direct. Do your homework – find a few lenders that lend in the range you seek and get three respective quotes. It’s easy to be mislead by low initial rates however make sure you query what other fees that could be charged and exactly what happens if say, you are late to repay by a month. Afterall – when was the last time you completed a development that went exactly as planned?

What are the risks?

As with any business opportunity there are inherent risks. When financing your development using a short-term lender there are a number of risks to be aware of. Firstly, you should make sure that you can rely on your lender to provide the drawdowns in a timely manner and that the conditions/ requirements for these drawdowns are abundantly clear and well documented. Your solicitor should do this job for you but it’s always prudent to run through the documents to make sure you understand it too. Secondly you should make sure you are clear on all events of default and what the penalties for going into default are. It may be beneficial to the lender when you go into default because for instance they will earn more interest on a monthly basis when you are (it is often double the standard rate). Although this is a very cynical view I have first hand experience of lenders behaving in this manner so it’s important to remember a lender is a lender, not your friend. Lastly, make sure your schedule of works or timetable leaves plenty of room for error. The reason that 75% of development facilities go into default is due to facility expiry. This could be down to a number of things but more often than not it’s a simple case of the developer being too optimistic with the amount of time it will take for a sale to go through.

Summary

Getting finance for a development can be challenging at the best of times but being prepared for every question a lender asks will put you in good stead. So, before you start going to various lenders to seek quotes have those key elements above to hand.

What Are Shock Absorbers?

Often, you will come across many terms that don’t exactly make sense to you. Shock absorbers could be one of those terms. If you think about it, the name says it all – it absorbs shock.

In more detail, a shock absorber is a device that uses hydraulics to control rebound and impact specifically controlling the springs and suspension of the car. The device assists the driver to feel as little bumps as possible for a comfortable drive.

Along with making the ride as smooth as possible, shocks also keep the tyres in contact with the surface of the road at all times. Ensuring that the tyres are constantly in contact with the road will make the drive a lot safer because of how much more control the driver has. Braking response is also ensured with shock absorbers.

So now you know what a shock absorber is but do you know exactly how it works?

These are basically little oil pumps that have a piston inside. The piston will push the oil or hydraulics through tiny holes and valves. The valves and holes are inside the piston that assists with control of the resistance and movement. Because only a small amount of oil is let through the tiny holes or orifices, the piston will get slowed down which will also decelerate spring and suspension movements.

There are also different types of shock absorbers that were manufactured for the different cars. The different types include Conventional Telescopic, Strut Type and Spring Seat shock absorbers.

Conventional Telescopic – these are the standard devices that are so cheap that a mechanic would rather replace than repair. They can be used for front and rear suspension.

Strut Type – these were made specifically for heavier loads. Part of the system is equipped with a strut to withstand the heavier loads on bigger vehicles. Certain parts of this model can be repaired whilst others need to be completely replaced.

Spring Seat – these versions are the two previous shock absorbers almost combined into one. The Spring Seat is the suspension unit and damping unit all in one. They can’t cope with heavy loads like the Strut Type. Sealed off parts would need to be completely replaced instead of repaired.

The shocks are helpful devices that protect the entire wheel as well as the driver. They come in handy with very bumpy roads to avoid any damage to other components of the car. Damaged shock absorbers could lead to damaged wheels then you’ll need to get all those parts replaced and find a wheel supplier that can replace the wheels and tyres.

How to Save on Electricity in 2018

Solar energy represents an inexhaustible source of energy. Thanks to its unlimited and free supply throughout the year more and more households and electrical appliances and powered by it. However, none of it would be possible without a medium converting the energy from the Sun into electricity – a solar panel.

Using a solar powerhouse brings along many advantages. The first and for most people the biggest advantage is a lower power bill. Installation of a solar powerhouse requires a decent amount of money as an initial investment but, on the other hand, the sum is not that high and the money will gradually pay back in the form of reduced expenses for electrical energy. Additionally, solar panels do not serve only as the sources of electrical energy production. They can be also used for heating and water warming.

The second biggest reason for a solar photovoltaics is the easy maintenance of the whole system. While other types of powerhouses require frequent monitoring this one allows you to go on holiday without having to worry what might happen. While you are enjoying your free time on vocation the solar powerstation continually generates energy that you can then use. As it does not contain any moveable parts the chances of the breakdown are quite small. Provided service inspections a few times a year the solar complex can run smoothly for several decades.

On top of that, solar powerhouses are environmentally friendly as they do not emit carbon dioxide or other harmful substances.

The only disadvantage is the fluctuating amount of potential energy over the year. Solar panels work most effectively when the sunshine is falling on them directly. The more cloudy the sky is the lower performance they have. Of course, not everyone who desires a solar powerhouse lives close to the equator. Their unique geographical location allows them to fully use the sunlight only during certain times of the year.

Nevertheless, latest findings from one of the best world university shows that it does not mean an obstacle for enjoying all the benefits anymore. A powerful and effective solution for such people are 3D solar panels that generate provably more energy than their 2D versions. Thanks to their flexible arrangement the photovoltaic panels absorb as much sunlight as possible regardless of a year season. Furthermore, 3D Solar Panels are so easy to install that you anyone can do it themselves in less than a day.

Nine Things To Do When a Spouse or Parent Passes Away

As we age, we are inevitably confronted with the loss of a loved one. Sometimes we have time to prepare, other times it is sudden. If we are fortunate enough to have some time to prepare mentally and emotionally, the process of coordinating these items can be much more controlled and organized.

If the death is sudden and we are dealing with it unexpectedly, it will be harder as the traumatic and emotional effects of our loved one’s passing are still fresh and we need time to allow ourselves to grieve. Aside from the immediate needs for the funeral arrangements, final medical bills, and notification of family and friends, the rest of these items can be handled over the coming weeks or even months if you are not ready or willing to address them immediately after your loss.

The following 9 items should be addressed as soon as you are able to grieve and get comfortable taking on the challenge.

Item 1 – Get 5-10 extra copies of Certified Death Certificate.

For most survivors, you will need the ability to prove the death of your spouse or parent in order to transfer or change the ownership on assets, close accounts or modify existing benefit programs. Most of the companies and organizations that handle these items will require a certified copy of the death certificate as proof of death. Some may be willing to use a photocopy if you ask. They may be required to visually inspect the certificate before they accept a photo copy, just to ensure that it is an original and is certified.

Unfortunately, there are individuals out there who attempt to collect death benefits by using falsified and illegal death certificates. This has become more common and many institutions will not accept copies because of this. But, especially if you are meeting with the institution in person, bring an original, certified copy and ask if they can make and accept a photocopy.

Each of these original, certified death certificates will cost between $5 and $25 if you get them at the time of the funeral. If you wait until weeks, months or years later, they could cost $50 to $200 depending on where you have to get them from.

Estimate your needs for the bank, brokerage, IRA, 401k, life insurance, annuity and other accounts that you have. Then add about 5 more to that number for various others that may require it. Plus always save at least one original for your future records and your family in case they need it later.

Item 2 – Assemble Your Trust Team.

Your Trust Team. Who is on your Trust Team? For most people, this should start with family members. Parents, children or siblings should always be considered first. As you age, it may even include some grandchildren who you have learned are worthy of your trust. This first component is those individuals that you know you can trust because they share your grief and are always looking out for your best interest.

Many of the decisions that you will need to make over the coming months may involve looking out for your best interest and your financial, emotional and physical well-being. While the ultimate decision is always yours, you need the advice, input, insights and help of your trusted loved ones to help shape the best decisions for your present and future needs.

After you decide on a few trusted family members, you should then add some of the following outside members to your team. I suggest that if you have a financial and estate advisor, bring them in first to review your situation and make suggestions on what can be done first without the need for an attorney. Most good financial and estate advisors will be able to help you handle all the filings and forms needed to make death claims, benefit changes and updates with the need for attorney fees at this point. If you already have an existing relationship with this financial advisor, there may be little to no costs involved with these services.

If you were to bring in an attorney first, many of these basic filings would be charged to your account at rates that could amount to 5 percent of the value of the assets, transfers or distributions. These costs could be saved by using a financial advisor to guide you through them.

You will also want to involve your income tax preparer at some point to make sure that you get everything properly arranged with the IRS before the end of the year that the death occurred. If you don’t, there may be penalties that will be incurred.

Having a lawyer involved is something that you may need to do. But I would read the rest of these items and then make sure you have the checklist of items that you want the attorney to handle. If done correctly, much of the estate will already be administered and distributed before you visit with the attorney.

Item 3 – Contact Employers and Social Security

You will need to contact Social Security to notify them of the death. They will then begin processing the information and stop any monthly payments if there were any. Don’t worry, this is normal. A surviving spouse will receive the higher of the two social security amounts upon the death of one spouse. As an example. If Spouse A was receiving $1,000 monthly and Spouse B was receiving $750 monthly, if spouse A passes away, Spouse B will then receive the higher of the two amounts, $1,000 each month from then on.

Contact all past and present employers of the deceased. Ask if there were any death benefits as part of their employment. Also, ask if there were any death benefits as part of their retirement plan. Ask if there are any modifications needed to any monthly pensions that are being received. Finally, ask if there are any modifications needed for their health insurance if it was being provided through the company. Based on these answers, you will know if there is anything additional to take care of.

Item 4 – File Life Insurance Claims

Many individuals have multiple life insurance policies, possibly from several different companies over the years. If you find the policies or receive any bill or statements in the mail, inquire about the death benefits and options that you have available. Provided that you were the beneficiary, there should only be a few forms to fill out and submit before you can receive your life insurance death proceeds. You may need to file a death claim for each different policy that you have in order to satisfy all policy claims.

Item 5 – Contact Banks, Brokerage, and Credit Unions

Your local bank, brokerage, and credit union will need to be notified of the death. If your accounts were owned jointly with your spouse or parent, then you will just need to change the names on the account to remove the deceased individual. If they were only in the name of the deceased, then you will need to handle them differently. Ask the institution what their rules and procedures are as they pertain to these accounts and file the appropriate paperwork to handle the transactions.

Item 6 – Close Unwanted and Unneeded Accounts

It probably makes sense that you should close out any unwanted or unneeded accounts at this time. The only exception is that you may want to keep one joint account open, in case you receive a check payable to the deceased. You may be able to deposit this check into the joint account by signing it over for “Deposit Only”. This could save you an expensive trip to the attorney or surrogate court’s office later.

Item 7 – Revise Wills and Powers of Attorney

It is always a good idea to review your wills, power of attorney, medical directives, health care proxies and any trusts that you may have established on a regular basis at least every 3 to 5 years. It becomes even more important after the death of a spouse or parent. You may need to revise executors, trustees, and other appointees to reflect the current situations.

You will also want to look at your existing beneficiary arrangements and see if they can be simplified, modified and corrected to better represent your current wishes. These can be done with an attorney, or online, or with one of the many legal software programs that are available. The key is to make sure they get revised, executed, and notarized as needed.

Item 8 – Review Real Estate Ownership Arrangements

If the deceased owned any real estate on their own or jointly with others, you will need to take a look at how this will be affected by their death. There are certain rights that joint owners of real estate can have, or not have, depending on the type of ownership. It can also differ from one state to the next depending on whether the owner was a resident or held the property for vacation purposes.

Once you have a clear picture of what type of ownership arrangements exist, you can then begin looking into how it should and will be handled. You may need to consult with a real estate attorney, but I would begin by asking what they charge for a “Real Estate” transaction.

Only after you find this out, mention that this will involve a deceased owner. It may cost a little more as real estate transaction for a deceased owner, but if you mention it as an estate transaction, many attorneys will try to charge a much higher fee, (possibly up to 5% of the value of the house) run it through probate and the estate process. This could cost you thousands instead of hundreds of dollars if you let them. But now you know better.

Item 9 – Protect and Preserve Your Assets From Fraud

Today we have a whole new breed of criminals out there. Many of them prey on widows and senior citizens. They have no conscience and are more than willing to take advantage of anyone that is willing to listen to their story.

Make sure that you have one or more trusted children, siblings or friends review any kind of financial “opportunities”, investments, donations or scams before you decide to part with your money. These con-artists will try to get small amounts at first, then escalate their fraudulent activities to much larger amounts once they feel they have you on the hook.

Don’t let this happen. Always contact one of your Trust Team members before making any big or suspicious decisions.

Summary:

As we get older, making good decisions can become more difficult. It becomes even more difficult if you just lost a loved one and are in the process of grieving. Don’t let anyone rush you, but listen to your Trusted Team members if they tell you that you need to do something now. Ask them to explain why it needs to be done immediately or if it can wait until you are ready. Some items do require more urgent attention, especially if your loved one passed away closer to the end of a calendar year.

The majority of these items can be handled over a period of time when you are ready to address them. I suggest that you take them one at a time and ask for help from your Trust Team members. Finish one, then move on to another, until you complete them all. If you attempt to do them all at once, you may end up frustrated and unwilling to continue. There is a great saying… “This Too Shall Pass”. Remember that, when you are feeling overwhelmed. This Too Shall Pass!

****

Keith Maderer has been a Financial, Investment and Tax professional in the Buffalo-Niagara region for over 30 years. He helps individuals and families to Clarify their needs and goals, Solve their problems, and Simplify their life to avoid the common pitfalls that get in the way of enjoying life and retirement.

He is an author, an entertaining and humorous speaker that enjoys captivating audiences with stories, anecdotes, and messages that inspire and motivate others to achieve their goals.