Estate planning for the financial savvy

by Kristina on February 27, 2014 · 0 comments

estate

Good morning Dinks.  We preach about saving for your goals, planning for retirement and living a happy financial life.  But are you planning for what comes after retirement?  I know that many people don’t like to talk about estate planning because it’s so final, but the truth is we have to talk about our money’s life after retirement because money doesn’t go away after we do.

What happens to your money after retirement?

As a financial planner my job is to make sure clients have the savings and protection they need to be financially stable now and in the future.  This includes saving for short term goals, investing for retirement and estate planning.

Estate planning means having an updated Last Will and Testament, having enough money for final expenses such as taxes and funeral arrangements as well as having insurance on all credit products.  More often than not clients don’t take life insurance on credit products such as their loans, credit cards and mortgages because they feel that they can’t afford the extra cost. I say sadly because that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I want to help clients fully understand the true value of having a Will and having credit insurance both as financial products as well as a form of protection for the future of their loved ones.  Estate planning starts with your Will. It’s crucial to make sure your money is handled according to your wishes after you have passed away.

 

3 things every Will should have:

A named executor.  An executor is the person who will handle your property, money and other personal belongings after you pass away.  You want to make sure this person is financially responsible and will get the job done; it could be a relative, a lawyer or a family friend.  They will need to file your final taxes as well as allocate your money as stated in your Will. It is important to name an executor who you trust will carry out your last wishes.

One or more beneficiaries.  A very important aspect of any Will is to make sure you say where you want your money and other belongings to go.  You can designate one or more beneficiaries for all of your property.   As an example you can say the value of all my belongings will be divided equally between my spouse and my siblings.  One thing that many people don’t know is you can also designate beneficiaries for specific items such as your car, your jewellery, your home furnishings as well as a lump sum of money.

A legal guardian if you have kids.  If you have kids or you have legal responsibility for kids you will need to state what will happen to those kids in your Will. This is important to make sure the kids end up in a happy home that you approve of.  If a legal guardian is not named in a Will the kids could end up with a distant relative who they don’t know, end up being split up into two different households or even end up in the foster care system.

Photo by denisp



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