Advanced Estate Planning

The Top 10 “Estate Tune Up” Ideas

You have already written down, and likely forgotten, your New Year’s resolutions at this point in the year.  It’s the Summer and you are likely either enjoying a relaxing vacation or gearing up for that big annual vacation.  Or . . . you may be too worried about your finances to even splurge for a vacation because you want to make sure that you have enough stored away, just in case there’s a rainy day coming.

That concern about finances actually is common these days.  Did you know that more than 70% of Americans do not take all of the vacation time that their employers provide to them?  That’s right. Our compadres in other industrialized nations, like Italy and France, think Americans are crazy not to take the vacations provided them.  Indeed, vacations are important to our well being as humans.  

And, to those who think that they do not have time or have too much work to take time off, it is important to remember that a vacation can make you more efficient overall.  Overworked, overstressed, and under-rested employees are simply not as productive in the long run.  A good vacation will, in fact, allow you to come back to your job refreshed and highly productive. 

All that being said, you still may feel the pinch that a vacation, particularly if you don’t get paid for the time you take off, is not possible because of your financial picture.  If that is what is uppermost on your mind, then read on.

An awareness of your budgeting should also lead you to an awareness of your retirement savings and your plans for the future of your family.  In that way, smart estate planning is the way to relieve those concerns.  

As we say at Doane & Doane, the estate planning attorneys in Palm Beach, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.  Don’t be in that category. Think about your estate planning needs today, particularly now that it is Summer, and you are thinking about finances. 

In this blog, we list the Top 10 “Estate Tune Up” Ideas for the Summer.  Take a look at this list and see if there is something that you can take to heart and employ in your life today.  Your future self will thank you.

Tune Up Idea #1 – Write a Will 

A last will and testament is vital for anyone who is over 18.  You should not leave your assets to the vagaries of Florida law.  It gives you peace of mind to know that you have expressed your wishes about your assets in case you pass away.  So, think about contacting a local estate planning attorney in Palm Beach, like Doane & Doane, to easily create a last will and testament that your attorney will ensure is properly executed.

Tune Up Idea #2Know the Power of a Power of Attorney

While it is never fun to think about your own demise or your incapacitation, it is better to have a plan.  A power of attorney authorizes an individual to stand in your place on financial matters in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.  

Tune Up Idea #3 – The Advanced Directive

In the event you cannot make medical decisions for yourself, a health care proxy can make those decisions for you.  In creating your advanced directive, you want to be sure to instruct your proxy of your desires with regard to medical treatment, particularly if you suffer a terminal illness with no chance of survival.

Tune Up Idea #4 – Life Insurance for the Family

If you have a family, then a life insurance policy can provide funds to assist them.  A good insurance agent can help you make the right choice when it comes to the many life insurance options out there.

Tune Up Idea #5 – Revisit Those Bennys 

You likely have number of financial vehicles, like a 401k from work, an IRA, bank account, or other account in which you needed to designate a beneficiary.  How long has it been since you have checked on those beneficiaries? Take the time to make sure that the accounts you have include the correct beneficiary designations.  

Tune Up Idea #6 – Long-Term Care, and Disability, Insurance?

There are a number of insurance products that may be a good fit for you during your lifetime.  In case of illness or some other unforeseen accident, a policy related to helping you through a period of disability could be the thing that helps your family get through.

Tune Up Idea #7 – Consider a Financial Planner

Depending upon your age, your family status, and your financial picture, it really cannot hurt to talk to someone who helps people plan their financial future for a living.  Even if you don’t plan to engage in a huge number of estate planning strategies, there might be something a professional can mention to you that could help out a lot – maybe to the tune of tens of thousands.

Tune Up Idea #8Talk to Your Parents

At some point in life, you will need to take care of your parents more than they take care of you.  Talk with your parents about their estate plans, and whether they have told someone where all of their important documents are.

Tune Up Idea #9 – It’s Depressing – But What About Your Burial?

While not getting too gruesome, it is not a bad idea to take the pressure off of your loved ones if you pass by planning on how your burial should go.  You can, these days, pre-pay for a funeral and burial place.  

Tune Up Idea #10 – Take Stock of Your Holdings

What do you own?  What about jewelry, valuable collections, stocks, real estate?  While you can, consider settling ownership issues so those uncertainties do not spill over to your family after you pass.  

Estate Planning Attorneys in Palm Beach Are Worth a Call

Contact Doane & Doane to learn about your options when it comes to drafting as will and planning your estate at a reasonable cost.  Call us, the estate planning lawyer in Palm Beach, today at 561-656-0200.