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Estate Planning

The 401K Man's website was designed to help everyone with their insurance, financial, retirement & estate planning needs. There are many things that you may not be aware of due to changes in tax laws and other judicial decisions that may have changed from the last time you reviewed your estate plans. Tax changes in 2018 have upended many past written plans and ideally any estate planning done at any point should be reviewed at least annually to ensure no beneficiaries or updates need to be addressed.

Please be aware having a will does not guarantee your heirs will not be stuck in probate court or worse yet stuck in a long drawn out delay. Inheritance laws vary dramatically state by state, and not having a will or last testament guarantees it will be in probate court. Even having a will can lead to probate and long drawn out court battles. Only early and comprehensive estate planning will typically prevent lengthy probate delays and potentially save thousands in taxes.

Many people mistakenly think a will or last testament can avoid probate court for their heirs. Sadly this is often times not the case and does not prevent major financial problems for heirs after a relatives passing. Social Security, Medicare and final expense insurance needs all pose their own unique problems that only a professional planner or qualified insurance specialist can help with. We work within all the related areas of Social Security, Medicare, trusts and estate planning from simple final expenses coverage for burials to multiple trusts for generational wealth transfer. call us toll free at 877-775-0812 or Email us below with your questions to speak with a qualified representative.

twelve important steps

You may have heard that you need to make an "estate plan," but what does an estate plan cover and how do to make one? Here is a simple list of the most important estate planning issues to consider.We work within all the related areas of Social Security, Medicare, trusts and estate planning from simple final expenses coverage for burials to multiple trusts for generational wealth transfer. call us toll free at 877-775-0812 or Email us below with your questions to speak with a qualified representative.

1. Make a Will,

In a will you state who you want to inherit your property and name a guardian to care for your young children should something happen to you and the other parent.This is the most basic of steps & helps with determining your intent. 

2. Consider Trusts,.

If you have many assets it is important to hold your property in a living trust so your survivors won't have to go through a long drawn out and expensive probate court process.There are many types of trusts and different reasons to do different types of trusts. The main reasons to consider a trust maybe for passing property or gifts to younger generations or family. Taxes will possibly still be an issue but a properly done trust solves a myriad of problems along with the lengthy probate process. 

3. Make a Health Care Directive,

Writing out your wishes for health care can protect you if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. It is quite common for people to become incapacitated later in life. A health care directives include a health care declaration (Living Will) and a power of attorney for health care, separate from a financial power of attorney which gives someone you choose the power to make decisions if you can't. (In some states, these documents are combined into one, called an advance health care directive.)

4. Prepare to Make a Financial Power of Attorney,

With a durable power of attorney you can give a trusted person authority to handle your finances and property if you become incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs. The person you name to handle your finances is called your agent or attorney-in-fact (but doesn't have to be an attorney).

5. Protect your Children's Property,

You should name an adult to manage any money and property your minor children may inherit from you. This can be the same person as the personal guardian you name in your will.

6. File Beneficiary Forms,

Naming a beneficiary for bank accounts and retirement plans makes the account automatically "payable on death" to your beneficiary and allows the funds to skip the probate process. Likewise, in almost all states, you can register your stocks, bonds, or brokerage accounts to transfer to your beneficiary upon your death.

7. Consider a Life Insurance Policy,

If you have young children how will they be provided for? Mortgage protection insurance can cover the bills if you own a house, or you may owe significant debts. Life insurance can cover many expenses or estate taxes if you pass unexpectedly and does not have to be for the amount of house loan but covering expenses.

8. Understanding Estate Taxes & Penalties,

Most estates -- more than 99.7% -- won't owe federal estate taxes but typically encounter some form of state taxes. The federal government will impose estate tax at your death only if your taxable estate is worth more than $5.49 million. (This exemption amount rises each year to adjust for inflation.) Also, married couples can transfer up to twice the exempt amount tax-free, and all assets left to a spouse (as long as the spouse is a U.S. citizen) or tax-exempt charity are exempt from the tax.

9. Cover Funeral Expenses,

Final Expense Insurance, prepaid burial plans and death insurance are all the same basic thing.Look closely at the best offers and what they provide before its too late. Many people who procrastinate pay an exorbitant price to a funeral home when an affordable solution was available through a simple burial policy and will.

10. Make Final Arrangement Plans,.

re Where will a funeral or service be held? Will the body be buried or cremated? Are the organs to be a body donation? no one knows unless you have taken some of the prior steps toward cremation and planning. 

11. Protecting Your business Interests,

If you're the sole owner of a business, you should have at least have a succession plan or key persons coverage if there are multiple owners involved. If you own a business with others, you should have a buyout agreement in place with different scenarios planned for. 

12. Store Your Documents,

Your attorney-in-fact and/or your executor (the person you choose in your will to administer your property after you die) may need access to the following documents:

  • will

  • trusts

  • insurance policies

  • real estate deeds

  • certificates for stocks, bonds, annuities

  • information on bank accounts, mutual funds, and safe deposit boxes

  • information on retirement plans, 401(k) accounts, or IRAs

  • information on debts: credit cards, mortgages and loans, utilities, and unpaid taxes

  • information on funeral prepayment plans, and any final arrangements instructions you have made.

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