Take Time to Talk Turkey – and Finances

space filled with pumpkins and gourds in orange, white, yellow and red colors

Whether you gather to view the autumn colors or dig into a giant turkey (or tofurkey), getting your family together is a prime opportunity to address important topics, like health and financial matters. A brief discussion and a bit of planning can save time, energy and heartache in the future.

Do you have an advanced directive?

Do you and your loved ones have a plan for medical care in case of serious illness or injury? Have you talked about who should make medical decisions for your family members, if they can't? Is there documentation, and do all the right people have a copy of it?

Michigan Medicine provides a free, simple toolkit online to help you or a loved one set up what’s known as an “advance directive” about health care. You don't need to be a Michigan Medicine patient to use these materials. One advantage of using the toolkit is that it meets the requirements to be a legal document in the state of Michigan. To get started, download the booklet or visit the Michigan Medicine advance directives page

Are your beneficiaries up-to-date?

Keeping beneficiary designations current is one of the easiest and most important ways to protect your loved ones financially. If you or a family member have experienced a major life event – like marriage, divorce, birth of a child or death of a loved one – check to make sure your beneficiaries are still up-to-date.

Keep in mind that for U-M benefits, you need to designate beneficiaries separately through TIAA, Fidelity Investments and MetLife.

Have you thought about estate planning?

Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy. Proper estate planning is about making sure your wishes are carried out in many areas that impact health and finances. For help thinking through an estate plan for you or a loved one, watch this video of a December 2017 presentation by MetLife that covers how to set and prioritize goals, tax considerations and 10 common estate planning mistakes.

Learn more

Browse these additional resources for more tips to support your financial well-being.