Fiduciary Financial Advisor: What It Means and Why It’s Important
Before you hire a financial advisor, learn the importance of the term fiduciary.
Use this estate planning checklist to secure your assets for your loved ones.
Estate planning is about protecting your wishes, your assets, and your loved ones during the difficult time of your death or incapacitation. However, in 2020, only 32 percent of Americans reported they had an estate planning document. Creating a last will and testament can be an unpleasant task, but don’t let that stop you from securing your equity and ensuring it’s distributed in accordance with your wants. We have designed an estate planning checklist to make this process as smooth as possible. Follow our guidelines below!
Drafting your estate plan doesn’t have to be confusing. With this estate planning checklist, we have outlined what you’ll need to include. Continue reading for more information.
The first step in your estate planning process is to recognize your tangible and intangible assets and value them. You’ll need to estimate the value of your checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies. Consult with a third-party valuation service to determine the worth of your vehicles, family heirlooms, and homes. With an outsider’s professional opinion, you’re able to gain a true understanding of their monetary value.
One of the most prevalent decisions in your estate planning process is determining your beneficiary designations. In your living trust and living will, you can outline which family members, friends, and organizations you’ll gift your assets. This will include your real estate, bank accounts, heirlooms, and other assets.
You can avoid the probate process by clearly distinguishing who gets what in your will. Probate court is a long and expensive ordeal, so save your loved ones the hassle by documenting your beneficiaries.
A financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney are legal documents that give a representative the authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf in the case of your incapacitation. If you choose to elect a durable power of attorney, you should deeply consider who you feel most comfortable making these crucial decisions, as they can quite literally be life or death. Keep in mind that your elected powers of attorney will have access to your financial accounts and full medical history.
If you have any questions or doubts about the process of your estate plan, you can always contact an elder law attorney or a fiduciary financial advisor. A professional will help you maneuver state laws and other legalities like federal estate taxes, gift taxes, and inheritance taxes. Regardless of the size of your estate, assistance from a professional will ensure your wishes are carried out.
The estate planning process is not just for the wealthy. If you expect to leave assets to your heirs and loved ones, you need to establish an estate plan. At Royal Oak Financial Group, we understand that each estate is unique and requires a personalized strategy. Start the estate planning process with the fiduciary team at Royal Oak Financial Group. We help clients, and their families better understand the financial matters of estate planning, such as wills trusts and asset protection. Get in touch with us today!