An estate plan legally ensures your family is taken care of and your financial goals are met after you’re gone. But the majority of Americans—including those with families—aren’t prepared. According to LexisNexis, 64 percent of people don’t have a will and 55 percent of individuals with children don’t either.
Whether you fear the unthinkable or are just putting estate planning at the bottom of your to-do list—here are seven must-dos to ensure clarity and peace of mind when you and your family need it most.
- Don’t delay—create your plan today.
Starting the estate planning process early is important, especially if you have financial dependents. Ensure they are taken care of and are able to handle the unexpected.
- Identify your assets.
Evaluate and determine what exactly you will leave your family. Review and update the names of beneficiaries on these accounts annually. Forgetting this critical step could be costly to those most important to you—a new spouse, child or grandchild, for example.
- Make your wishes known—permanently.
Where there’s a will there’s a way—especially when it comes to overcoming legal obstacles after you’re gone. Among the many things it can accomplish, a will can help distribute property, name guardians for children and outline an executor. Your estate plan should also include a durable power of attorney, advanced medical directives and a letter of instruction.
- Be open and honest with loved ones.
As daunting or uncomfortable as it may seem, being clear about your wishes helps mitigate arguments and uncomfortable situations during an already difficult time.
- Adapt the plan over time.
A quick review annually and a thorough review every five years may be a good place to start. Reviewing your estate plan will not only give you peace of mind but will alert you to any other changes that need to be addressed.
- Establish a timeless legacy.
By creating a charitable fund or foundation, ensure your legacy supports your passions in the community.
- Consult a professional.
Creating an estate plan at any age can be overwhelming. Busey’s team of professionals specializes in providing peace of mind for today’s needs and tomorrow’s dreams.
Speak with an experienced financial advisor today at 1.800.67 l Busey or visit busey.com. Also, request a complimentary copy of a Message to My Loved Ones packet. This robust planning document will help outline your legacy with simple fill-in-the-blank style questions and sections for additional thoughts and remarks.
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