Let’s Get Personal: Estate Planning

With the New Year beginning, you’ll want to tie up all your loose ends from last year. One thing you should think about is getting your personal estate in order. You may think it is too early to be worrying what will happen after you die, but getting everything drawn up now will help your loved ones down the road.


Break It Down

CNN Money suggests taking inventory of all your investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, real estate, and any business interests. You and your spouse should also think about how the assets should be divided to all your heirs. Once you’ve made theses decisions, talk to your heirs. Hopefully that way there won’t be any disagreements between heirs after you and/or your spouse has died.

Learn To Trust

One way to bequeath your assets is to create a trust. You may think a trust is for the Bill Gates of the world, but in reality a trust can be used if you have a net worth of at least $100,000 and fall under one of these categories:

- A sizeable amount of your assets are in real estate, a business or an art collection

- You want to set up rules for your heirs before they inherit your estate. For example, they have to graduate from college

- You want to support your spouse, but want to leave remainder to your heirs after your spouse dies

- You want to maximize your estate tax exemptions

- An heir is disabled while you want to support them, you don’t want them to be ineligible for Medicaid or government assistance.

Trusts let you distribute everything evenly between your heirs without having to worry about a large cost. They also protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits. Trusts come in a number of different types, so be sure to talk through them with your estate planner.

If you’re ready to start working on your estate’s future or have any questions about the process, be sure to give us at Alpha Omega Insurance a call.