It’s no surprise that Americans spend more time planning their summer vacations than they do planning their estate. After all, a vacation is a trip you want to go on, while the “eternal trip” is not.
However, wouldn’t you travel with more peace of mind if you knew you had taken the necessary steps to protect your family if something were to happen to you? That’s why you need to tackle these five important tasks before you go on that much-deserved summer vacation:
Guardians for minor children — if you have children under the age of 18, you MUST name a legal guardian (or guardians) to ensure that they will never be put in the hands of strangers or people you wouldn’t want raising them. If you do not name legal guardians before something happens, you give up the right to decide who will raise your children if you no longer can. You should name short-term guardians in case of emergency, and then plan for long-term guardianship. A full Kids Protection Plan® will ensure there is no gap in your children’s care, ever, no matter what happens.
Beneficiary review — if it’s been awhile since you updated your beneficiary forms for retirement accounts, life insurance or other assets, it’s time for a review — especially if there have been any major changes in your life. And keep in mind, it is generally a bad idea to list minor children as beneficiaries on insurance and retirement accounts. These should be passed to children through a Trust.
Estate plan review — if you have experienced a birth, death, marriage, divorce, property purchase, property sale, or other life-changing event since you last updated your estate plan, you need to be sure those changes are reflected by updating your plan.
Advance healthcare directive — if you become incapacitated and can’t make your own health care decisions, have you named someone who you can depend on to carry out your wishes? If not, you need to execute an advance health care directive that includes a durable power of attorney and a HIPAA release so your medical information can be shared.
Insurance update — is your life insurance still sufficient to meet the needs of your family? If not, or you’re not sure, then you should revise your policy before you hit the open road.
If you need to do any of these things, don’t procrastinate. It’s time to take care of business. We can help make it easy for you to get your plan in order so your family is protected and provided for, no matter what. Call my office to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about your individual situation, needs, and goals.
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