It’s time to take a big, relaxing breath, friends. We are embarking upon a subject that makes most of us rather squeamish. In Part II of our “2 THINGS ARE CERTAIN: DEATH AND TAXES” series we’ll be delving into the less than positive areas of responsible planning. As much as we’d all like to ignore the pending facts, sooner or later we all meet our respective makers!
Whilst the power of positive thinking is a great concept, so is planning for the inevitabilities of life. Things happen! And what better time to plan than before those things hit the fan! Whether you’re just readying to take the plunge and get your ducks in a row or that’s already been done, we invite you to read on for a few pointers and suggestions:
Assess your Life Insurance Needs: Life insurance is often overlooked and misunderstood – and nearly everyone needs it. Knowing how much to purchase can be the tricky part; to help do this you’ll want to review your family’s situation with respect to areas such as regular income and expenses, assets and debts and also death-related costs (funeral expenses, taxes, legal fees). Many people discount their need for insurance because they are not the primary income-earner of the family. However, should they be out of the picture, their role may not be easily filled or performed so cost-effectively. It’s also advisable to reevaluate your life insurance needs as you move through life events, keeping beneficiaries current and covered. Having an idea of where you stand in terms of need going forward can help ensure that you are not under- or over-insured.
Write a Will: When we say this, please note that we’re thinking something a bit more official than stating “My spouse gets it all” on a do-it-yourself kit. Simply put, a solid and efficient will can allow for the well-organized distribution and management of your estate to your beneficiaries. Besides, we’ve all heard the horror stories of estates tied up for eons because of the lack of a proper will, and no one wants to put their loved ones through that when it’s avoidable!
Plan your Estate: An estate plan covers more than just getting a will to deal with the dispersal of your assets; it also encompasses items such as guardianship of dependants, a power of attorney in the event of an accident, and establishing a trust. Since these are the “big guns”, it’s advisable to get a lawyer to structure and finalize the necessary paperwork for you. The “what-if” scenarios can be mind-boggling, but it’s most assuredly worth the prudent planning should the need arise.
We know, planning for your own eventual demise can be beyond depressing, but it’s important. Even if you feel you’ll live forever (or at least a long, long time) – isn’t it better to be farsighted than leave the ones you care about blindsided? Because by now, we all know those two things in life that are certain…