Thursday, March 20, 2014
Here are six essential steps everyone should take when designing an estate plan:
- Create an inventory. Keep a list of assets, debts, account numbers, and contact information. Keep it in a secure location and provide a copy to your executor.
- Develop a contingency plan. Have a disability plan for your property and your healthcare. Get yourself disability insurance.
- Provide for children. Identify a guardian for your children and be sure to provide for children from a previous marriage as well as individuals with special needs.
- Protect assets. Maintain assets for your heirs by minimizing expenses, covering estate taxes, and outlining strategies to transfer businesses, real estate, and investment property.
- Document your wishes. Update your will, living will, and powers of attorney. Also, confirm beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts.
- Appoint Fiduciaries. Designate the executor of your will, the trustee for your assets, the legal guardian for your dependents, and the power of attorney if you were to become incapacitated.
See Northwestern MutualVoice Team, 6 Essential Steps for Every Estate Plan, Forbes, March 12, 2014.