Estate Planning You Need to Do Today

When it comes to financial planning, it is common for many prepared individuals to have their ducks in a row, especially as they age. This includes having an emergency fund, retirement plan, and the proper insurance, just to name a few. After all, you’ve worked hard much of your life; you’d hate to see it all go to waste if the unimaginable happens.

But what about the imaginable, the likely — that uncomfortable topic we all try to avoid: death. Are you prepared financially for what will happen to your hard-earned assets when you eventually pass away?

Approximately 40% of all baby boomers don’t even have a will! This is an absolute shock, considering that the cost of a will is the fraction of what it costs to build an emergency fund or retirement savings. In addition, it only takes a few minutes, or hours, at the very most.

In order to ensure your estate is secure after you die, there are just a few documents you’ll need to have prepared. You can save money by finding these documents online, or if you prefer, you may hire the services of a lawyer who specializes in such things. The following is a list of items you will need to address:

  1. Make a Will – This documents tells the world who gets your property and will be guardians over any children who are minors when you die.
  2. Financial Power of Attorney – This documents specifies who will make monetary decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to.
  3. Health Care Power of Attorney – This document specifies who will make decisions on your behalf regarding health care in the event that you are unable to.
  4. Estate Software – While an attorney is probably the best resource for preparing your estate, you can find these documents online or in a relatively inexpensive software package to prepare on your own if you so desire.

This is not an exhaustive list of things you need to address regarding your estate, but it is a good start. Bottom line, make sure you spend as much time preparing for things that “will” happen as you do preparing for things that “might” happen.

About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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