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Estate Planning

By Independent Bank May 20 2019 Investing

Everything you need to know about estate planning

Broker making a presentation to a young couple showing them a document which they are viewing with serious expressions

Estate planning is a complicated topic. Not only will you need to think about death and illness, but you'll also need to consider who would ultimately benefit financially from your demise. With that being said, estate planning is a necessity in life and will ensure that if something does happen to you, your family members won't be forced to go through a long and often painful court process. So, what exactly do you need to know about estate planning?

Take stock of your inventory

Your estate will include everything from tangible assets, like real estate, cars and collectibles to intangible assets, like bank accounts and stocks and bonds. Once you've figured out precisely what is in your inventory, you'll want to make out a will with a lawyer to spell out which family members are entitled to what. 

Name a guardian for your children

There is no quicker way to squander the assets of an estate than a lengthy court battle over the kids. To ensure that your family doesn't end up in family court, spell out precisely who you'd like to become legal guardians of your children if you were to pass away before they reach legal age. 

Experts suggest naming a primary and a backup guardian. Do check to make sure your choices are okay with the idea of becoming guardians in the event of your death before naming them in your will. 

Double check your life insurance policy and speak with an advisor

A financial advisor can help you decipher how much money would be needed to keep your loved ones in the lifestyle they are used to. If, for example, your mortgage payment requires a dual income, you'll want to ensure your life insurance can cover the cost of the home, so your spouse or loved ones are not forced to move during their time of grief. 

Work with a life insurance agent to ensure you have what you need to protect your family. You can always add an additional policy if it is deemed necessary. 

Don't forget your medical care directive

Medical care is a tricky subject. Not only do you have to take into consideration what you'd want done to save your life, but you'll have to think about what your loved ones will be emotionally capable of doing, if necessary. Experts suggest drawing up a living will. This type of will spells out what happens in the case of a dire medical situation. At this time you can also give a loved one power of attorney. 

Let someone know where all the paperwork is

Once you've gotten your estate in order, you'll want to keep all of your paperwork together. It is essential to let a trusted family member know how to access the information in the event that you can not.  Not only will it make it easier on your family, but it will also make it possible for quick decisions to be made. 

Speak to an IB Wealth Management representative today!

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