Estate Planning: Securing Your Legacy

Adam Waitkevich (alt)

Adam Waitkevich, CFP®, CDFA™, ADFA™, Certified QDRO Specialist™ January 16th, 2024

Start planning for tomorrow, today.

That seems like sensible advice, doesn’t it? Yet surprisingly, a significant number of individuals neglect to leave a plan in place for their loved ones. While it is understandable that no one enjoys discussing their own mortality, it is important to develop and maintain an estate plan because we simply are not able to settle these matters once the time comes.

Everyone has an estate.

There will come a day when someone else will be responsible for managing the things you leave behind after you pass away. This applies to homeowners and renters, retirees and full-time employees, and individuals from all walks of life.

Having an estate plan in place can help ensure that your wishes are executed upon your death. Without your instructions, things may have to be decided in court, leaving your loved ones to deal with legal issues and potentially bitter disputes. Your plan may include wills and trusts, life insurance policies, guidance on the care of your children, powers of attorney, a living will, medical directives, a pre-or post-nuptial agreement, extended care insurance, charitable gifts, debts, digital assets, and more.

Why not just a will?

Although your will may specify who your beneficiaries are, they may still need to obtain a court order to transfer assets from your name to theirs. Effective estate planning can include items like well-prepared and funded trusts, which can assist your heirs in avoiding probate, an expensive process that can tie up assets at a time when they are needed most.

It is important to note that beneficiary designations on qualified retirement plans and life insurance policies usually override bequests made in wills or trusts. Many individuals never review the beneficiary designations on their retirement accounts or insurance policies, resulting in serious consequences when dividing their estates. Having an estate plan in place also means keeping it updated, especially when changes occur in your family or in your personal life.

Where do I start?

As a Wealth Advisor, I recommend consulting with a qualified financial professional to help you get started, particularly one with estate planning experience. Having a trusted financial advisor can help give you peace of mind and ensure that you have everything in place to navigate the process seamlessly.

Read More By Adam Waitkevich, CFP®, CDFA™, ADFA™, Certified QDRO Specialist™

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Investment advisory services are offered through Concord Wealth Partners, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

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