It’s easy to overlook the need to keep track of monthly services or subscriptions. Especially when you don’t have to consciously make a payment since automatic billing is doing that task for you. When payments are out of sight, they are often out of mind.
Unfortunately, this could pose a problem for those handling your assets if something should happen to you. Those services will auto-renew if no action is taken. The result? Money could unnecessarily deplete from your estate for a period of time.
Many of these subscription accounts are often tied to a credit card. Cancel the credit card, cancel the service. But if these services are tied to another account, it’s helpful to maintain an updated record of your current subscription-based services and even online payment services such as Paypal. This way nothing gets overlooked and little money is lost for something not needed.
Plus, keeping up-to-date records will benefit you now since it forces you to consider which products or services you really want or need based on the amount of money you’re spending. Call it a subscription audit. It’s easy to pile up on new subscriptions when a convenient payment plan helps you disregard the fact that those small amounts are collectively draining your bank account.
For online services, it’s helpful to go through your subscriptions and set up an “opt-in” agreement whenever possible so that a renewal cannot take place unless you specifically approve it. If there are any contracts or term language associated with your accounts, include copies of those as well.
Following is a list of online and offline subscriptions to consider:
Subscription-Based Services and Products
Wireless plans: cell phone, wi-fi
Movie/TV services: cable, satellite, Netflix, Hulu, Xbox, Playstation
Gaming services: Xbox, Playstation
Subscription delivery services: health / food / beauty / household products (ie. Fitbit, Ipsy, Birchbox, Dollar Shave, etc.)
Online accounts: Amazon Prime, digital app subscriptions, magazine/newspaper
Club memberships: health club, warehouse club (Sam’s or Costco)
Security services: home protection, identity protection, malware security
Other: mail order medications, IPass / highway transponder
We’ve provided a Subscription Form in our Estate Planning Organizer to help you keep track of your subscription-based accounts. Download the Guide Here.