What to Check (and Double-check)
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Create a will if you do not have one. A valid will may save your heirs from some expenses linked to probate. A will drafted with the guidance of an estate planning attorney will likely cost you a bit more than a “will in a box,” but may prove worth the expense.
Complement your will with related documents. Depending on your estate planning needs, this could include a trust (or multiple trusts), durable financial and medical powers of attorney, a living will, and other items.
Review your beneficiary designations. Who are the beneficiaries of your retirement plans and/or insurance policies? If you aren’t sure, it is probably a good idea to go back and check the documentation to verify (or change) whom you have designated as beneficiary.
Create asset and debt lists. You should provide your heirs with an asset and debt map they can follow, so that they will be aware of the details of your wealth.
Think about consolidating your stray retirement and/or bank accounts. This could make your assets lists a little shorter. Consolidation means fewer account statements, less paperwork for your heirs, and fewer administrative fees to bear.
Let your heirs know about the causes and charities that mean the most to you. Write down the associations you belong to and the organizations you support.
Select a reliable executor. That person should have copies of your will, power of attorney documents, health care proxy or living will, and any trusts. In fact, any of your loved ones referenced in these documents should also receive copies of them.
Talk to the professionals. Do-it-yourself estate planning is not recommended, especially if your estate is complex enough to trigger financial and/or legal issues among your heirs upon your passing.
*Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
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