Many people believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy. Wealthy people have a lot of money, lots of land, and lots to divvy up to their heirs, so it makes sense that they need to plan out how and where their things will end up. However, everyone with any net worth needs to do basic estate planning to make sure that their possessions, no matter how large or small, are distributed according to their wishes. If you need a resolution for 2020, make it working on your estate to-do list.
The first (and arguably most important) document to put in order is your will. Wills ensure that your possessions are distributed in accordance with your wishes; therefore, the wording is of utmost importance. When looking over the wording of your will, be sure that all items are consistent with named beneficiaries. For example, if you’ve named your child as a beneficiary on a retirement account, you don’t want that same account on the will named to someone other than your child. This could result in a bitter will contest that will result in a lengthy legal battle.
The second document to draft is a durable power of attorney (POA). A POA is someone who acts on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so. A common example is someone who handles the distribution of assets upon your death. In many cases, spouses set up reciprocal POA’s, but POA can be given to anyone the person chooses.
When it comes to healthcare there is power of attorney for healthcare decisions as well. You can assign someone you trust to make healthcare decisions for you in case you’re incapacitated.
One other document to get started is a life insurance policy. The life insurance policy should be the first item on your to-do list and the one you need to start as soon as possible. Life insurance premiums only go up as you get older, so the sooner you start, the more money you can save. Life insurance policies are bought in an amount and when you die, the money on the policy will pass to your beneficiaries. There are multiple types of policies and different amounts to buy when it comes to life insurance. Use a professional agent to help you decide which amount and type makes sense for you.
There are many other financial documents to go over when estate planning, but hopefully this list gives you a good base to start from. When it comes to estate planning you may also need long-term care insurance, annuities, and many other items. When it comes to life insurance, Spencer Insurance Agency is just the place to get expert advice regarding life insurance policies, amount sot purchase, and what makes sense for you.
Be sure to give us a call at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions about life insurance. Your protection and peace of mind is our only business!