IT'S NOT TOO EARLY
Six Important Estate - Planning Steps
Submitted by Greg Delong
Courtesy of Edward Jones
Death is never an easy subject to discuss, but it is a very important topic. As you think about the future , evaluate your current situation and the plans you'd like to put in place after your death or if you become incapacitated. Regardless of your current stages of health and wealth, planning is a must. Without it, your heirs could be placed in challenging emotional, legal and financial circumstances. As you consider an estate plan, there are six key concepts to keep in mind.
- Account Registration
Make sure each account owner's or beneficiary's name appears on each account, spelled correctly.
- Health Care Directive/ Living Will
This document provides clear and convincing evidence of your wishes regarding the administration of life-prolonging procedures when you are no longer able to communicate them.
A last will and testament ensures that your assets transfer in the manner in which you prefer.
- Beneficiary Designation(s)
Check all your accounts to ensure that they include accurate, up-to-date beneficiary designations.
- Durable Power of Attorney (General and Health Care)
These documents provide incapacity protection by naming someone to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. It is imperative for those who don't have or want, a living trust.
Consider setting up a trust if you're concerned about estate taxes, avoiding probate, controlling the transfer of assets to your heirs, protecting your assets during incapacitation or the possibility of needing assistance with money management and paying bills. A trust authorizes another person or entity to manage and distribute assets on your behalf.
Talking with your investment representative, tax professional, attorney, family members about death and beyond can be hard. But if you want to make the future a bit easier on your heirs, it makes sense to do so.