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Estate Planning Archives

Estate planning is about more than giving away your stuff

Residents of West Virginia may know the importance of preparing their estates for the unavoidable eventuality that they will pass away. Estate planning may involve organizing one's assets, paying down debt and writing a will. If there is a fear of estate taxes or heirs with special needs, a trust may be included. However, many people overlook some important ways in which an estate plan can benefit them while they are still alive.

Following the estate planning example of Hugh Hefner

Most people in West Virginia may not hold up Hugh Hefner as a role model. However, those who advocate estate planning certainly feel Mr. Hefner had qualities to emulate. The founder of Playboy Enterprises built a fortune from a few thousand dollars and carefully prearranged for that fortune to provide security for his loved ones.

Address financial and non-financial issues in estate planning

Some West Virginia residents and others throughout the country have likely given some thought to how things will be addressed after their passing. While many may have wills that address how assets will be distributed, others may have undergone more comprehensive estate planning. Experts suggest that individuals include some issues in the plan that go beyond the numbers.

Documents needed for estate planning

Many West Virginia residents and others throughout the country know the importance of having a will in place. However, there is more to estate planning than simply drafting a will. There are additional documents necessary that can protect individuals who are still alive and others that will protect them after their deaths. Financial experts recommend having  power of attorney, health care power of attorney, living will and last will and testament.

Share details of estate planning with family members

There are very few West Virginia residents or others throughout the country who make financial decisions in a vacuum. In other words, the decisions an individual makes regarding spending, saving, investments and retirement are likely to have an impact on others at some point in time. In most situations, those closest to a person are the ones who are most affected, such as spouses, children and grandchildren. Therefore, financial experts recommend sharing information about decisions that will affect them. An important step in estate planning should be a discussion with those included in the plans.

Estate planning important to Baby Boomers

Many residents in West Virginia and across the country have not given a lot of thought to drafting a will. Thinking about a time when someone will not be around anymore can be an uncomfortable topic. However, statistics show that one generation is more likely to have estate planning documents in place. AARP reports that around 60 percent of Baby Boomers have addressed this issue.

Young parents should consider estate planning early

Many West Virginia residents may seriously begin thinking about their retirement years when their children are older. As children move away from home and begin life of their own, parents often believe that it is time to begin estate planning. However, experts recommend that estate planning begins when children are very young.

Make sure beneficiary designations are correct in estate planning

Many West Virginia residents have life insurance policies and accounts at banks, brokerage firms or retirement investment firms. These types of accounts are frequently included in an individual's estate planning portfolio. Financial experts stress the importance of ensuring that one's beneficiary designations for every account is correct and up to date.

Estate planning is a process, not a one-time event

While many West Virginia residents have developed plans for their retirement years, most do not realize the need to periodically review and update the documents. Financial experts stress that estate planning is not something someone can do one time and be done with it forever. An individual's situation can change as could pertinent laws that may affect an estate. It is vital to review an estate plan regularly and avoid several mistakes.

Avoid issues when estate planning

Most residents of West Virginia and those around the country understand the importance of planning for the future and how their affairs will be handled after death. However, many fail to give estate planning the necessary attention it needs. Many may realize the need and the broad concept of making an estate plan, yet few understand the detailed requirements. This lack of understanding can lead to future issues if not addressed.

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