It is a fact of life that we are all going to die at some point. It is not an easy topic, but it is a necessary conversation as many people become seriously ill or pass away without having their affairs in order. This sad reality creates unnecessary challenges for their loved ones at the worst possible time, as well as creating the potential for matters not to be handled as one would have preferred.
Even if you have already made well thought out plans for your financial and legal affairs inclusive of a will, laws change frequently, so plans should be reviewed every few years minimally. Below are some specific tips that will be best served by working with a professional focused on accomplishing your specific goals.
- Have you designated a power of attorney and health care proxy?
Further, at what age is this best to set up? The answer is now. Often people think they are not ready to delegate control, but these legal relationships can be set to only provide power in the event of incapacitation. For example, everyone needs to have someone able to handle matters if they become seriously ill and confined to a hospital. The best time to get wishes documented and insure they are carried out properly is when there is no question of mental or physical competency.
- Are your beneficiaries up to date?
Did you know that account specific named beneficiaries override will instructions? Also, it can be very important from a tax planning perspective to have account specific named beneficiaries rather than having assets go through your estate. Also, it is important to designate one or more contingent beneficiaries in the event your primary beneficiary predeceases.
- Do you need a trust?
You may or may not, but the key is to evaluate when and why a trust may be in your best interest. The sooner a “look back” period is factored into planning, the better.
- What will happen to your money if you go into a nursing home?
The 2019 median annual cost of nursing home care was $102,200. Your hard-earned money could go very quickly to a care facility without careful long-term protection and asset protection strategy.
- Do you want to give a portion of your money to charity?
For many people, supporting charities that have impacted their lives such as a church or other non-profit organization is very meaningful. Charitable giving should be planned in the most tax effective manner feasible so funds can be maximized.
Give us a call at 336-249-2723 if you would like additional information or have any questions.