Planning your Estate
When a loved one passes away, money often becomes a major issue for spouses, descendants, and beneficiaries. Whether repaying an outstanding debt or collecting a life insurance claim, money is the primary driving force in almost every decision that an executor will make, making it one of the most complex assets to divide when a will is contested in some way. Because of this, estate planning is strongly encouraged when drafting a will, and can ensure that financial wellness is secured even after death.
January is Financial Wellness month, and to help guarantee financial wellness for you during (and after) your life, we’ve compiled a list of resources to explore financial wellness during the estate planning process. Financial wellness can be achieved a number of ways during life, and we are here to help assure that your loved ones’ financial wellness is maintained after death, just as you would want it to be.
To ensure financial wellness for your loved ones after death, here are four quick resources to consider utilizing while starting to plan your estate:
- Estate Planning in 60 Seconds: This short guide can assist with critical decision-making in order to ensure financial wellness for beneficiaries before a will is ever drafted. Since a will can take time to finalize, it might come as a surprise that the initial stages of estate planning can be thought over in as little as 60 seconds. Estate planning guarantees that the execution of a will goes as smoothly as possible, and we encourage you to work with an experienced attorney in order to review your options once these initial decisions have been made.
- Estate Organizer: Many estates will have a considerable amount of assets to divide. It is often critical to have these assets organized and accessible for an executor or attorney to utilize while examining a will and estate. ACLU’s all-in-one estate organizer includes areas for testators to provide important information—such as insurance details, bank accounts, and personal property claims—to be utilized as a resource to guarantee that your wishes and assets are honored as stated in your will and estate plan.
- The “Money Talk”: Just as children age into adulthood, parents continue to age as well. It can easily come as a shock, then, when children potentially become “caretakers” for their parents. The idea of broaching late-life topics can be daunting for many, and this guide provides ways in which children can approach these topics with their parents. By discussing your own estate and financial wellness with our loved ones, you can ensure that everyone’s financial wellness—parents and children alike—is maintained before and after a will is even written.
- Create a Trust: There are many reasons to consider creating a trust during the estate planning process. A trust can help minimize estate taxes, preserve assets for children, and provide benefits for charities after you or a loved one passes away. Ameriprise Financial’s “Trust Basics” guide provides answers regarding why a trust might be beneficial in your estate planning, including information about the different kinds of trusts and how they can be utilized.
In conjunction with the above resources, we encourage seeking counsel from an attorney experienced in probate law and estate planning while undergoing estate planning. Forbes & Forbes Law is committed to helping you and your loved ones achieve financial wellness and peace of mind at every step of the estate planning process, and we will ensure that your wishes and long-term goals are upheld in the best possible way.