As much as we wish it was coming to an end, the unfortunate reality is that the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing and still affecting many of us in our daily lives. The uncertainty that comes along with living through a pandemic makes people feel helpless at a time when they want to be proactive.
The pandemic serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of having a solid estate plan in place. You never know what tomorrow will bring, and you don’t always have time to get your affairs in order. Estate planning now lessens the load for your caregivers and loved ones down the road.
Think about it: if you were incapacitated today – would your caregivers know what your wishes are? Would they even legally have the authority to make those decisions?
We encourage you to sit down and truly think about your preferences for yourself and your estate. Below are a few questions to guide you:
Have you appointed a trusted person to make financial decisions for you if you are unable to do so?
What about health care decisions? Is there someone legally appointed to make those decisions for you? If so, do they know what your wishes are?
What are your assets? Do you have a list of what you own? Would someone know how to find that list?
Who should inherit what? Are there items/assets that have sentimental value to specific people?
Do your retirement accounts and life insurance policies have beneficiaries named? And if so, are they the correct ones?
If something happened to you right now, would your loved ones know how to access your online accounts?
What kind of funeral do you want? Does your family know your wishes?
If your kids are minors, who should care for them if something happens to you?
Do you want to leave charitable donations?
Now that you’ve come up with a basic idea, it’s vital to document it. Don’t leave your caregivers and loved ones guessing your intentions – tell them now, write it down and make it easy for them to have confidence in their decisions.
An often forgotten element of estate planning is the legacy you leave behind. It’s important to ensure that your assets and belongings go to the appropriate individuals, but it’s also vital to document your intangible gifts - your stories, advice, and values. This is one element of estate planning that we find essential to preserving your legacy. Whether you work with us or not, we encourage you to incorporate this element into your estate plan.
If you are ready to secure your estate plan, we are here to help. Schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session today to determine what options work best for you. All of our customized estate plans incorporate a lifetime relationship with complimentary planning updates every three years and a process to document your legacy for those you love.