Good Financial Reads: What is Estate Planning?

What is Estate Planning?

7 Items Every Estate Plan Should Include

by Jovan Johnson, Piece of Wealth Planning LLC

Estate Planning is not only for the wealthy. If you have assets in your name, you have an estate. And, if you have an estate, you have an estate plan – even if you haven’t drafted documents on your own. If you don’t have an estate plan, your state will create one for you. If you were to pass intestate, meaning without a published will, the state courts will determine how your asset are distributed.

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Your Beneficiaries Matter: Check Who They Are

by Michelle Smalenberger, Financial Design Studio, Inc.

It’s time to do a really quick check of your beneficiaries. This is something that is really easily overlooked. 

I want to review some of the common accounts where you need to set a beneficiary because this is what states who inherits the funds that are in these accounts. 

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You Inherited an IRA, Now What?

by Massi De Santis, DESMO Wealth Advisors, LLC

A retirement account can be a great gift and a good estate planning tool. But trying to figure out what to do with it can easily turn into a daunting task. The details of how you can receive the inherited money depend on a number of variables, including your relationship to the original account owner, the type of plan inherited (IRA, Roth, 401(k), etc), the age of the deceased, and, with the SECURE Act, whether the original account owner passed away in 2019 vs. 2020 or later (take a look at the IRS page here to get an idea). 

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Do I Need a Will or a Trust?

by Jim Bradley, Penobscot Financial Advisors

A lot of estate planning work can be done relatively easily.  Joint ownership and proper beneficiary designations can make things a lot easier for loved ones to handle after you die.  Proper levels of insurance can make the survivorship needs of your loved ones easy to cover.  In fact, for most people, much of their estate planning can be accomplished using a few of these easy steps.

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Following along with the blogs of financial advisors is a great way to access valuable, educational information about finance — and it doesn’t cost you a thing! Our financial planners love to share their knowledge and help everyone regardless of age or assets.

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