Brush up on your estate plan basics - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Brush up on your estate plan basics

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012 2:00 pm

During your lifetime, you make a lot of moves to provide financial security to your loved ones. You put away money for college for your young children. You save and invest for your own retirement so that you won’t ever burden your grown children with significant expenses. And you purchase adequate life insurance to enable your family to maintain its lifestyle should anything happen to you. Yet, if you’re going to help preserve your family’s financial well-being after you’re gone, you also need to take one additional step: Create an estate plan.

Toward that end, you’ll want to start by learning a few of the estate plan basics, such as these commonly used tools:

• Will. For most people, a will is probably the most essential estate-planning document. Regardless of the size of your estate, you need a will to ensure that your assets and personal belongings will be distributed according to your wishes. If you die intestate (without a will), your belongings will be distributed to your “heirs” as defined by state laws — and these distributions may not be at all what you had in mind.

• Living trust. A simple will may not be sufficient for your needs. Consequently, you may want to design a living trust, which provides you with more flexibility in distributing assets. For example, you could direct your living trust to disperse assets to your children or grandchildren at specific ages. Also, a living trust makes it possible for your assets to be distributed without going through the often time-consuming, and public, probate process.

• Beneficiary designations. Over time, your life may change in many ways, through marriage, remarriage, children, stepchildren and so on. That’s why it’s important to periodically update your beneficiary designations on your insurance policies and retirement accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k). These designations are powerful and can even supersede the instructions left in your will or living trust, so it’s essential that you’ve got the right people listed as your beneficiaries.

• Irrevocable life insurance trust. Depending on the size of your estate, your heirs may ultimately have to pay estate taxes, though the estate tax laws have been in flux in recent years, and may continue to evolve. If estate taxes are a concern, you may want to take steps to alleviate them, such as establishing an irrevocable life insurance trust, under which you’d transfer a life insurance policy out of your estate and have the trust distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries you’ve chosen.

• Power of attorney. A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person (an “Attorney-in-Fact” or “Agent”) to handle your affairs if you can’t do so yourself.

• Health care directive. A health care directive allows you to name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf, should you become physically or mentally incapacitated.

Estate planning can be complex, so you’ll need to work with your tax, legal and financial advisors to make the arrangements that are appropriate for your needs. It may take some time to develop your estate plans, but it’s well worth the effort.

 

• This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Ahwatukee Foothills Edward Jones Financial Advisor Joseph B. Ortiz, CRPS. Reach Ortiz at (480) 753-7664 or joseph.ortiz@edwardjones.com. Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist and CRPS are registered service marks of the College for Financial Planning.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Dogs banned from all Phoenix mountain hiking trails on 100+-degree days

PHOENIX - The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board on Thursday night decided that beginning immediately they are restricting dogs from m…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 11:01 pm @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/dogs-banne…

Phoenix proposal to ban hiking during extreme heat denied, ban of dogs is approved over 100 degrees

PHOENIX - The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board approved a ban of dogs on city hiking trails when temperatures are over 100 degrees. …

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:31 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Arizona Catholic Conference Bishops’ statement opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana

The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference oppose the campaign to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona because it is harm…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:01 pm @ http://www.catholicsun.org/2016/06/30/acc-marijuana/

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Spent Public Money on Islam-Bashing Seminar

Stephen Lemons A A How much does it cost to stage an Islam-bashing festival for law enforcement, tick off the local Muslim community, and enge…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:48 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/maricopa-count…

Mel Mecinas of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Shares His Spot For Authentic Oaxacan Cuisine

Lauren Saria A A From now until we publish the 2016 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times is naming 100 Tastemakers — members of our local cul…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:49 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/mel-mec…

Coronado Brewing Company Says Cheers to 20 Years of Award-Winning Beers

(San Diego, CA) – Coronado Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years of defining the West Coast craft beer movement. What began as a dream to op…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:50 pm @ http://thefullpint.com/beer-news/coronado-brewing-…

- not preservation efforts

Several members of Scottsdale City Council along with their contractor Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale are planning to build a massive tour…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:49 pm @ http://www.scottsdaleindependent.com/opinions/curr…

9 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

Zach Fowle A A New Times picks the best events in metro Phoenix from Friday, July 1, through Sunday, July 3. For more things to do, see our cu…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:18 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/9-best-things-…

“The Innocents”: A powerful fable of rape and rebirth in a Polish convent

Topics: Anne Fontaine, Catholic, Catholic Church, Feminism, foreign language films, French film, Lou de Laage, Movies, Our Picks: Movies, Pola…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:17 pm @ http://www.salon.com/2016/06/30/the_innocents_a_po…

8 tips to prep for summer storms

Metro Phoenix got its first hint of summer monsoons Monday night, with some lightning, particularly in the East Valley. And, as residents brac…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 9:00 pm @ http://srpconnect.com/summer-monsoons/

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…