Be safe and prepared this summer

Posted by Christine Hause on May 27, 2021 1:00:00 PM

You’ll be hearing a lot about hurricane preparedness this summer when it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones in terms of shelter, safety and supplies. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the National Hurricane Center have posted some important operational guidelines.

Personal safety should remain your number one priority; however, don’t neglect your financial affairs. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are your original estate-planning documents, including your will, securely stored? If stored at home, place the papers in a fire- and
    waterproof safe, but make sure to share the combination with someone you know and trust. If you use a bank’s safe deposit box, consider putting the box in the name of your trust, so your successor trustee will have access in case something happens to you. Let your successors know when you store the originals.
  2. Have you arranged to receive alerts when your debit or credit cards are used? This can protect your accounts from fraud.
  3. Have you developed strong passwords and secured them? Always use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols and capital letters, and be sure to change your passwords often.
  4. Do you have an adequate number of healthcare surrogates listed in your health-care directives? Do they all have the ability and interest to serve you? If out of state, can they afford to travel to care for you? Did you share a copy of the healthcare directives document with your named surrogates? Be sure you review your documents with a trust officer or your attorney.
  5. Are you leaving town? Please carry your Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will and Designation of Heath Care Surrogates with you when traveling. Should something happen, you will be prepared, which can remove unneeded stress from you and your loved ones.
  6. Have you pulled your credit report this year to be sure no one is using your credit? Everyone is eligible to get free weekly credit reports through April 20, 2022, from the three national credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To get your free reports, go to Annual Credit Report. We recommend you rotate among the agencies to be sure your report is accurate. Each company is slightly different in what they report.
  7. Are your assets titled properly to ensure your estate plans are carried out? It is important that your beneficiary designations match your wishes. We find that many estate plans fail due to incorrect titling and beneficiary listings. Please review your estate plans with a careful emphasis on your asset titles and beneficiary designations. (At Charlotte State Bank & Trust, we offer complimentary reviews with a trust officer to be sure your plan will work as you intended.)
  8. Have you selected a true fiduciary to manage your investment accounts? A fiduciary is legally and ethically bound to act in your best interests and is regulated and examined by the FDIC and FDFS, not FINRA. (Our trust officers must act in your best interest.)
  9. Did you register with the local property appraiser to secure the title of your home for free? (Titles and deeds are public records available from the Property Appraiser in the county where your home is located.)

At Charlotte State Bank & Trust, our trust clients can take advantage of a team of experts, regulated and examined policies and processes, secured systems, dual control of assets, decisions by experienced committees, and professional investment management. Our team can store your original documents in our trust vault, provided you name the bank as trustee. Charlotte State Bank & Trust is backed by the strength of a strong, family-owned-and-operated financial corporation.

For additional information, contact Christine Hause at 941-624-1917 or

Investments are not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by, the bank, are not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal.

Posted by Christine Hause

Christine utilizes her extensive financial and estate planning experience to develop new client relationships and works with them on estate and investment planning, including Revocable Living Trusts, IRA Rollovers, Investment Management Services and charitable giving strategies. Education: Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Siena College in Albany, NY; The SunTrust University in Trust; Florida Bankers Association Trust School, University of South Florida; Florida Bankers Association Graduate Trust School, University of South Florida; Leadership Charlotte Class of 1999, sponsored by the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Christine has held the following: Series 7 - General Securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) Representative License; Series 66 - State and Federal Regulations Agent LicenseLife, Health and Variable Annuity licenses in Florida and New York. Christine is a past member of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, a past president of the Business & Professional Women of Charlotte County, and past interim president and treasurer of the Charlotte Estate Planning Council. She is a former member of the board of directors of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the Visual Arts Center’s Executive Committee. She is a former member of the Development Committee of the Charlotte County Jazz Society. Contact: 941-624-1917

Topics: Security, hurricane