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Take control of your assets and legacy
The best time to start thinking about estate planning isn’t when you’re retiring. It’s right now. There’s no wealth requirement and no minimum age. An estate plan simply clarifies how you would like your assets divided up after you are no longer living. Your plan can always change, but without one in place, the state makes decisions on your behalf.
Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions.To ensure your wishes are carried out, an estate plan provides instructions stating whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it.
There is comfort in knowing what will happen when you move on.
A Will is an enforceable document that declares of how a person wants his or her property or assets to be distributed after death. Wills are also used to appoint a guardian for minor children and ensure arrangements for any surviving pets. If you were to die without leaving a will, the distribution of your property can be left up to the government, and may even end up becoming the property of the state. A Will ensures that your wishes are carried out, and it can make things easier for your heirs.
Trust funds allow a grantor to establish specifically designated funds that provide financial security to an individual, most often a child or grandchild, or organization, like a charity or other nonprofit. Trust funds can help you establish financial security for your children, minimize death taxes and in the process preserve your children’s own capital.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
Power of attorney is a legal document giving one person the power to act on behalf of another person. This legal document can authorize broad legal authority or limited authority allowing legal decisions to be made on the principal’s property and finance. The power of attorney is often used in the event of a principal’s illness or disability, or when the principal can’t be present to sign necessary legal documents for financial transactions.
Transfer On Death or TODs allow beneficiaries to receive assets like stocks, bonds or brokerage accounts at the time of the account owner’s death without going through probate and allows the account holder or security owner to specify the percentage of assets each designated beneficiary receives. With a TOD, the named beneficiaries cannot access or control the account holder’s assets as long as the person is alive.
OUR ESTATE PLANNING EXPERT
Kathleen A. Cassidy, J.D.
Vice President, Advanced Markets
Kate provides case design support in the areas of estate and business planning. She assists financial representatives in creating sophisticated personalized strategies for individuals, families, and businesses.