You won’t be surprised to hear that Americans like to get the most enjoyment they can out of the summer, but is it worth putting off what you need to do for what you want to do? Parents know, once the school year hits, getting everything taken care of suddenly gets a lot harder–all the more so for these five tasks.
Wouldn’t you like to enter the school year with more peace of mind, knowing that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your family if something unthinkable should happen to you? Take on these five important tasks before the school year, and then you can get right back to enjoying these last few precious weeks of summer.
Name legal guardians. You hold values and an attitude toward parenting that are important to you. You would never want your children to be the left to strangers or others you wouldn’t want raising them, so name a guardian or guardians for your children under the age of 18 to put them in the right hands. You can first take the easy step of naming short-term guardians in case of emergency, and then give thought to long-term guardianship.
Review your beneficiaries. You have retirement accounts, life insurance, and other assets, but have you kept the beneficiary forms up to date? It could be time for a review–particularly if your life has undergone a major change. Be careful, retirement and insurance accounts should never be passed on to your minor children themselves, outside of a Trust. You want to be sure to have that money see them through to when they’re responsible enough to manage it on their own.
Review your estate plan. Any life-changing event–a birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc.–since you last updated your estate plan will need to be reflected in your plan. An update will help ensure nothing is too hopelessly out of date.
Create an incapacity plan. Have you named a person you can depend on to carry out your wishes in the event you become incapacitated or otherwise incapable of making your own decisions on your health care? An advance healthcare directive can put you on the right track and should include a HIPAA release so your medical information can be shared with whomever you specify. The other piece you need is a durable power of attorney so that someone has the authority to manage your finances if you are unable to.
Update your insurance. Are the needs of your family the same as when your first purchased life insurance? You want them to be taken care of adequately, so revise your policy while you have the chance.
If you haven’t done any of these things, it’s time to take care of business. Call our office at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about this in a family estate planning consultation, where we can identify the best ways for you to protect and provide for your family.
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