Leaving A Legacy For Your Loved Ones
Having conversations about distributing your money, home and other assets after you’re gone may be uncomfortable, but it’s important to address the topic so you and your heirs are prepared. Creating a plan for transferring assets can achieve a variety of goals, such as providing living expenses for a spouse, making educational gifts to family members and giving charitable gifts to causes you care about.
Use this checklist to create a plan to transfer assets and protect your legacy.
- Start with your family tree. This is a helpful document when working with an estate planning attorney, especially for large or blended families.
- Set your priorities. Think about your vision for the future. Identify your goals and the ways you would like to give money or help others financially.
- Create a personal balance sheet. Make a list of your assets (retirement accounts, life insurance, personal property, etc.) and liabilities (mortgage, credit cards and other loans).
- Write your will. If you already have a will in place, review it to make sure it’s still in line with your wishes.
- Consider a trust. A trust can help you with more complex estate-planning goals that require additional steps or tax-efficient strategies.
- Determine key roles. Consider who you would ask to be your personal representative (executor of your estate), financial power of attorney, health care proxy and guardian of minor children.
- Review beneficiaries. Make sure the beneficiary designations on all of your financial accounts and insurance policies are up to date.
- Plan for the unexpected. It may be helpful to provide instructions and documentation allowing family members to make key decisions if you become incapacitated. This may include designating a power of attorney, living will or advance health care directive and a final wishes letter of intent (regarding funeral services, burial, cremation, etc.).
- Ask for advice. Every family’s situation is unique, and addressing those special circumstances now can help avoid unwelcome surprises later on. An estate-planning attorney can work with you to address your concerns, document your decisions and implement your estate plan.
To learn more about estate-planning and other strategies for tax-efficient wealth transfer, contact your Seaside Bank and Trust Client Advisor.
This financial institution does not give tax advice. Consult your tax advisor for information specific to your situation.
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