As with all aspects of Financial Planning, it starts with detailed data gathering. A complete audit of an estate and how the assets should pass to the heirs is the first step.
In conjunction with your Estate Planning Attorney (if you don’t have one, we know the best in the business), we conduct the following review:
- Do you have a current will? If there have been major changes in your life since it was drafted, an update may be in order
- Do you have a Health Care Proxy? Who will make medical decisions for you if you can’t. Is that document more than 3 years old? If so, it should be updated.
- Do you have a Power of Attorney? Who do you trust to make legal decisions for you if you can’t? Is that document more than 3 years old? If so, it should be updated.
- Do you have a Family Revocable Trust? Avoiding the cost of probate and assuring that your assets will pass efficiently to your heirs can be accomplished with a Family Trust
- Have you filed a Homestead Act on your primary residence? Keep your home safe from the claims of creditors.
- If you are a business owner, do you have a succession plan? Is there a buy/sell agreement that is current and funded?
- Do you have at least a $1,000,000 umbrella policy? We live in a very letigise society, and the additional liability coverage on top of your home and auto insurance is wise and very inexpensive
- In the event of your disability, do you have an employer sponsored or personally owned Long Term Disability Plan.
- Do you have adequate life insurance? Is it mostly term insurance?
- Have you considered the issue of long term care costs for yourself or perhaps the implication of long term care needs of your parents?
- Will your estate be subject to Federal and/or State Estate taxes?
- Have you checked the beneficiary designations on your Qualified Plans (Ira’s, 401k’s, Pension Plans, etc.) to make sure they are accurate?
Though the list of concerns may be long, we can help, and once the job is done, we will help you complete our “ICE Book” (In Case of Emergency). Here you can provide a comprehensive guide to your trusted family members in case there is an emergency.