Protect your family’s financial future

Setting your family up for long-term success means preparing for the expected and unexpected. The pandemic demonstrated how quickly unforeseen circumstances can disrupt our lives. It also showed the value of having a long-term plan in place to protect your assets and your family’s future. Estate planning is a key part of that protection.

Estate planning

Keep these essential documents up to date

Review these three estate planning elements every few years. Otherwise, your final wishes may not be met, and parts of your estate may not be distributed as you intended. Meet with an attorney to set up these documents that can protect you and your loved ones.

Will, durable power of attorney, and advance health directive

Investigate insurance options

When exploring insurance, consider options that can provide income for you during retirement, such as annuities, which also can support a surviving spouse or pass along value to heirs. If you’re considering long-term care insurance, keep in mind that premiums may increase as you get older.

Annuities and long-term care insurance

Keep your beneficiaries up to date

Make sure your accounts are titled in a way that matches your wishes (for instance is it a joint or individual account?) and designate both primary and contingent recipients.Footnote 1 Check bank and retirement accounts, as well as insurance policies, for accuracy. Be sure to review these documents after major family events, such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces.

Think strategically about taxes

Estate tax planning can help reduce taxes for your estate and your heirs and help preserve the wealth you created.Footnote 1 Keep the annual gift tax exclusion (currently $16,000 per recipient) in mind as you transfer assets to children and grandchildren.Footnote 2 For tax questions, consult an accountant. If you’re planning to help fund college for a grandchild, consider plans that allow education savings to grow tax-free.

Gifts and education

Share key details

Let family know where your estate planning and insurance documents are located. If you’ve established trusts, explain how they work and describe your desire for those assets.

Discuss your plans with your heirs

While these can be challenging conversations, explaining your intentions can help keep them more positive for your family and help to ensure your wishes are met.

Click below for guidance on how to talk about your estate plan with loved ones. Learn more.
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