When it comes to investments, the risks involved can make us feel we are not in control. However, if you want to feel more in control, take a good look at your estate plan, according to the Daily Camera in “Freaked out about the market? Resolve to get your estate in order.”
If you care about your health care, financial affairs, minor children and even your beloved pets, this is an important task to take care of. An estate plan includes legal documents that help you when you are living and helps your heirs, when you die. In addition to a will, a health care proxy that names an agent to make health care decisions if you are unable to make them yourself and a power of attorney that will give your loved ones the ability to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated are essential. An updated will ensures that your assets go to the inheritors you chose. Don’t forget your beneficiaries.
Your beneficiaries are the people who are named on several accounts and life insurance policies. You may have named people on investment accounts, life insurance policies, IRAs, bank accounts, annuities and other assets. If you have not done a full review of those documents in a while, you’ll want to take care of this right away. Life and relationships change over time, and the people you originally named as your beneficiaries may no longer be the ones you would select today. Note that any changes must be made while you are living—after your death, the named beneficiaries receive the asset regardless of what is written in your will.
If you’re not sufficiently motivated to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney, you should be aware that, if you don’t have a will in place when you die, the laws of your state will determine who gets your assets and even, who rears your minor children. You may or may not be a fan of court proceedings, but if you don’t have a properly prepared will, the court is going to be making a lot of decisions on your behalf.
An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your specific circumstances and family situation.
Reference: Daily Camera (Jan. 6, 2019) “Freaked out about the market? Resolve to get your estate in order”