Estate Planning is one of the most overlooked pieces of a holistic financial plan. It could be because we’re not only discussing money, but also death. Two of the most unfriendly topics in finances. With, estate planning is a really important part of finances, without a will, your estate can end up in probate with your possessions and assets in limbo.
Initiate the conversation
Estate planning can be an uncomfortable topic, but a conversation now can provide peace of mind for the whole family down the road. Read about Sasha Grabenstetter’s experience of talking about death over the [dead] turkey on the Plan Well, Retire Well blog.
Take stock of your personal/sentimental items
What will you pass down to a loved one? Is there a special item no one knows about? Making and sharing a list of financially and sentimentally important items can help save time, money, and emotions. Find some helpful worksheets from our friends over at Perdue University Extension – Getting ready for estate planning!
Find an estate planning attorney
Estate planning is an important process, but without the key professional, you could be missing pieces of your estate plan. Find a local attorney in your area, or ask for trusted recommendations from your friends and family.
Choose an advisor wisely
Picking someone you trust to be your power of attorney can be a tricky task. They are considered fiduciaries and work in the best interest for you. For individuals who are Power of Attorney in Illinois, here is a great resource from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Plus, a follow up from Sasha Grabenstetter about the talk she had around the [dead] turkey.
Guardianship for minor children
Guardianship is a very important piece to add to your will for your minor children. Deciding who to be the guardian is another story. Ask yourself these questions when writing your will on who would be the best fit for your child’s guardian.
Paying for a funeral
There are many choices these days for funeral options. Do you know about green burial or even having your remains made into a diamond? Here is a list of funeral burial options, costs and ideas for your own funeral planning.
If you have life insurance, 401(k) or other retirement plan, or a bank account, make sure you have a beneficiary set up in advance to receive the funds in the event you die. Beneficiaries are easily updated and can be changed at any time. Who gets your money when you die? Maybe it’s not who you think!
I hope you’re enjoying our Financial Wellness Checkup social media campaign. This week’s theme is back-to-school and will feature the resources discussed above. To follow along as our campaign continues, choose your favorite social media mode: