As you go through retirement, it is wise to consider putting together an estate plan. Having an estate plan will help eliminate many uncertainties that can come up after death. It will keep things organized and will help with taxes. This will also help you keep in mind who your assets will be going to, if your beneficiaries will have access to everything they will need, and what you will be leaving them.
Some essential parts to an estate plan could include a will, designation of beneficiary forms, financial power of attorney, health power of attorney, living trust, and a list of contacts and important information. Everyone’s planning will be different, so you may choose not to include all of these in your estate plan.
A will is an outline of your final wishes for your family after your death. Once you have passed, a probate period begins. During this time an attorney will be hired and the county court will read your will, appoint a personal representative or executor to handle the process, and see that your wishes are carried out.
A will usually appoints a legal guardian for anyone under the age of 18 and pets, appoints an executor who will handle any expenses that must be charged to the estate and who will make sure the will is carried out accordingly, and explains how debts are to be paid.
Designating beneficiaries to your accounts can help you avoid the probate process. You can fill out forms that say who will become the owners of your accounts in the event of your passing. Once you have these forms filled out, you should check in on them every so often to make sure they are still accurate and still comply with any changing tax guidelines.
Powers of attorney are those you have designated to make decisions for you in the event that you are unable to. A financial Power of Attorney can manage your finances for you and any safety deposit boxes. A medical Power of Attorney can make decisions for you if you are unconscious and have a “Do Not Resuscitate,” they can make the decision to end life support. They also make decisions on guardianship for minors, if you have not designated anyone to take in your children.
A living trust is sometimes created in place of a will. Also known as a revocable trust, this designates your assets immediately without having to wait to appoint an executor first. Going this route can help you avoid the probate process and allow your loved ones access to your estate, without limitations.
An often overlooked item you will want to consider having is a list of general, helpful information. This list can include important contacts, such as attorneys, funeral home, and your bank, a list of accounts and their associated passwords, and information on where you keep important documents and how to access them. For example, if you keep your important documents in a safe, you’ll want to state where the safe is and what the passcode is so people can get into it.
FOR MORE HELP REGARDING HOW TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL ESTATE PLAN, CONTACT MIRAMONTES CAPITAL AND MONA PARSA.
Mona is a trust attorney who has worked for national agencies and international organizations, including the State Department’s U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In addition to preparing living trusts for individuals and couples to protect their assets, Mona can also be seen as a legal resource in the media.
She is well-known for being a lively and engaging speaker who is able to deliver the law in simplified language for the non-legal audience.
Mona has a firm belief that understanding and empowerment are born through communication… which aligns perfectly with our vision at Miramontes Capital.
We pride ourselves in bringing you highly qualified professionals to help you in all aspects of your retirement planning!
If you have any questions regarding estate planning or living trusts, schedule an appointment with Mona by calling us today: (800) 460-1595.
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Miramontes Capital is a Registered Investment Adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Miramontes Capital and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This blog is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Miramontes Capital unless a client service agreement is in place.