October is Estate Planning Month. Are your affairs in order?
Life can change in a flash. Covid-19 has been a stark reminder of this. Death or incapacity can creep up on anyone or come upon anyone suddenly. When you are diminished make sure your voice is still heard. Make sure your family and loved ones don't have to carry a heavier burden than necessary. Get your affairs in order.
Do you have an estate plan? Is it current? Having a current estate plan will help you to have your voice heard should you die or become incapacitated. Your loved ones will know they are acting on your behalf. You will have the needed documents such as Power of Attorney and Living Will if you become incapacitated and a Last Will and Testament and Revocable Living Trust should you die.
Make sure that you have named beneficiaries on all of your financial accounts and policies. Fund your Revocable Living Trust. Underage beneficiaries require guardians to be in charge of the accounts, which makes it an advantage to leave holdings in a trust for younger beneficiaries. Having named beneficiaries can keep your accounts out of probate. Make sure you review your accounts and who you have named on a regular basis.
Safeguard your assets. Don't let your assets be vulnerable to a lawsuit, creditor situation, divorce, or long-term care. There are a number of approaches you can take including annuity planning, irrevocable trusts, and more.
It is vital that your family and loved ones know where your documents are and how to access them. They need this access to handle your financial affairs and settle your estate if you become incapacitated or die. This access includes leaving a list of your passwords and online accounts. This list can take many forms from a handwritten list kept in a secure but known place to online storage.
Keeping your affairs in order is good for you and those you care about. It gives you a voice when you can't directly express yourself whether you are incapacitated or have passed away. This can affect your medical care or the handling of your estate. Make sure you are cared for as you wish and that your assets go to whom you wish. Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to get your affairs in order. Contact Shoffner & Associates to ensure you have an estate plan that addresses your needs and wishes.
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