Posts in Estate Planning
 Retirement Planning Reality Check

The National Institute on Retirement Security states that the funds American workers have set aside for retirement are inadequate to the tune of trillions of dollars. Why? Well as the old adage goes: Failing to plan is as good as planning to fail.

One of the first pitfalls in retirement planning is giving up before you ever start. Many people look at projections of what will be needed to retire and conclude it is simply out of reach, so why even try? In conjunction with this defeatist attitude about saving, they may also think Social Security will provide them with a safety net. But the cold hard reality is, Social Security provides nothing more than a meager income at best. It does, however, provide at least a part of what those projections tell you is going to be required.

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Three Health Care Documents You Need to Include in Your Estate Plan

Decisions about your health care are some of the most important you will ever make.

Don’t put off making plans until you are unable to assert your wishes. Including health care documents in your estate plan can ensure your decisions are always your choice, even if you cannot speak for yourself.

Health care documents that clearly state your wishes should be included in your comprehensive estate plan. Here are three documents you need to include in your estate plan to ensure your wishes are respected:

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Is Your Family “Too Young” to Need an Estate Plan? 

Young families face different estate planning needs and challenges than those who have had a long life behind them. While established families may be concerned about what will happen to their family when they pass on, young, growing families can be more focused on what is happening to their family in the present. And you even may find it hard to justify planning for an “estate” you haven’t yet established!

But here’s the thing … if you have children, or anyone else you care about, you may not have an “estate”, but you do need estate planning, if you want to ensure your loved ones wouldn’t be stuck in court and/or conflict, if anything happens to you.

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The Real Cost To Your Family of Failed Estate Planning: Not Updating Your Plan

If you’re like most people, you probably view estate planning as a burdensome necessity—just one more thing to check off of life’s endless “to-do” list.

You may shop around and find a lawyer to create planning documents for you, or you might try creating your own DIY plan using online documents. Then, you’ll put those documents into a drawer, mentally check estate planning off your to-do list, and forget about them.

The problem is, your estate plan is not a one-and-done type of deal. 

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The Real Cost To Your Family: Having No Estate Plan At All

When it comes to putting off or refusing to create an estate plan, your mind can concoct all sorts of rationalizations: “I won’t care because I’ll be dead,” “I’m too young,” “That won’t happen to me,” or “My family will know what to do.”

But these thoughts all come from a mix of egoic pride, denial, and above all, we imagine, a lack of real education about estate planning and the consequences to your family. Once you understand exactly what planning is designed to prevent and support, you’ll realize there really is no acceptable excuse for not having a plan, provided you are able to plan and truly care about your family’s experience after you die or if you become incapacitated.

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When to Update My Estate Plan

Is it time to update your Estate Plan.

There are two major mistakes in Estate Planning. The first is failing to have a plan at all; the second is failing to update it. Since no one has the crystal ball to forecast when your time will come, your plan should always be reflect your current circumstances, wishes and desires. Since life so fluid, these three elements are constantly shifting.

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Don’t Forget to Include Your Digital Assets In Your Estate Plan—Part 2

If you’re like most people, you probably own numerous digital assets, some of which likely have significant monetary and/or sentimental value. Other types of online property may have no value for anyone other than yourself or be something you’d prefer your family and friends not access or inherit.

To ensure all of your digital assets are accounted for, managed, and passed on in exactly the way you want, you should take the following steps…

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Yo, Where's My Cheddah

April 12th is Teach our Kids to Save Day. I love this idea. We should be introducing our kids to the lessons of saving money, incurring debt and frivolous spending as early as possible so they can begin to develop strong financial habits. Ironically, one study showed that by the time a child is 7 years old, he or she has formed beliefs about money. Seven. Years. Old . Here are 5 tips to introduce money to your kids to enable them to build healthy habits and beliefs around money.

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When a Will is Not Enough: Name a Temporary Guardian

Naming permanent guardians in your Will is just one step in protecting your kids. It’s equally important to have someone (plus backups) with documented authority, who can stay with your children until the long-term guardians can be located and formally named by the court, which can take months. Also, a Will does not take effect until you pass, so your appointed guardians will not have legal authority over your kids if you are in tan accident or incapacitated. The last thing you want is for police to show up at your home and find your children with a caregiver, who doesn’t have documented or legal authority to stay with them and doesn’t have any idea how to contact someone with such authority. In such a case, police would have no choice but to call Child Protective Services.

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Live Life and Trust It!

Death does not have to be a dreary topic. Actually thinking about death can help you focus on life - on living a better life and passing it down for generations. A Trust is the ultimate tool to accomplish the transfer of your legacy.

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