Three Simple Estate Planning Tips
BY: KATE HENNESSY, CFP®
Some people associate estate planning with death, others feel it is time consuming and costly, it doesn’t have to be. Here are three estate planning tips to help you start protecting your assets for you and your loved ones:
- Last Will & Testament & Power of Attorney– An individual writes a Will while they are living and instructions in the Will are carried out when the person dies. A Will gives an individual control over how their assets are disbursed and handled after they die. A Power of Attorney (POA) allows someone to step in and make financial decisions for you, when you are unable such as medical incapacitation. If you die without a Will (intestate), the distribution of your assets will be settled by the courts, which can be costly and time consuming.
- Name Your Beneficiaries – Account owners name beneficiaries for their brokerage and retirement accounts. The list of beneficiaries should be reviewed and updated after major life events, including change in marital status, birth or adoption of a child, or death of a loved one. The named beneficiaries on accounts also supersede what’s outlined in your Will, so it’s important to update your beneficiaries. Not having a beneficiary named on your accounts can make the inheritance process for your loved ones more difficult.
- Share Your Passwords & Estate Plan with your Executor – An Executor is someone named in a Will and tasked with carrying out the terms of the Will. The Executor should be aware of where your estate planning documents are located, a list of investment accounts and passwords associated with those accounts.
Other estate planning documents to consider to protect you and your loved ones, include a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Revocable or Living Trust. At AssetGrade, we work with our clients to ensure that Estate Planning is a key part of their overall financial well-being.
Call us to learn more about how we can help you with this important piece of your financial plan.