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6 Estate Planning Steps to Take Now
Resources 6 Estate Planning Steps to Take Now

6 Estate Planning Steps to Take Now

  1. Organize your paperwork and online files
    Make sure your family and/or personal representative can find your insurance policies, deeds, titles, pension information, and financial account records. For online accounts, keep a list of passwords in a safe place and let your personal representative or executor know where it is.

  2. Have a will or a trust prepared
    Your will is the most basic estate planning document. It allows you to name beneficiaries, distribute personal property, and if you have minor children, name their guardian. A trust may give you more control, more flexibility, help you reach charitable goals, and depending on the type of trust, may help save on estate taxes.

  3. Review and update your beneficiaries
    Updating beneficiaries is especially important since your designations supersede your will instructions. Review and update your beneficiaries on insurance policies, employer-sponsored retirement plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and annuities.

  4. Create your living will and designate a health care proxy
    Don't leave your loved ones guessing about the end-of-life care you would like to receive. Having your instructions in place will spare them the burden of trying to guess what you would have wanted. You may be able to obtain these forms from your health care provider or your state department on aging.

  5. Consider naming your financial power of attorney
    A financial power of attorney will allow a trusted individual to take care of your financial affairs should you be incapacitated.

  6. Spell out your final wishes
    Let your family know whether you prefer cremation or burial and what kindif anyof funeral service you would like. If you've already done preplanning, make sure your family has access to the contract.
For more information, contact an Athens Federal customer service
or retirement and investment services representative today.
*Source: Uniform Law Commission, Consult your tax adviser for information specific to your situation.


Jeremy Loftis, INVEST Retirement & Investment Services Division (Cleveland Office)

“Estate planning should be on top of your to-do list and taking care of some essentials now will make it much easier for your loved ones to ensure your wishes will be followed.”