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13 Nov 2020
life insurance covid-19

3 Life Insurance Moves to Consider as COVID-19 Surges

With U.S. hospitalizations due to COVID-19 hitting new highs, sadly, some families are reviewing life insurance coverage in case of the worst. Not all may be aware of options that can help a policy owner who is seriously ill, or could soon become so. Here’s a rundown of three life-insurance features that can help in case of serious medical issues.

12 Nov 2020
infighting over inheritance

Executor of a family estate? Here’s how to avoid infighting over inherited wealth

After a loved one passes, one of the biggest hurdles families face is passing wealth onto the next generation. Unfortunately, family dynamics can spur conflict and infighting among descendants. Over 75% of advisors polled by Key Private Bank said that the hardest part of estate planning is navigating interfamily dynamics.

09 Nov 2020
pet care estate designations

Planning For Your Pet’s Care After Your Death

If you died tomorrow, what would happen to your pet? Many pet owners can’t answer this question, and the tragic result is that their companion animals end up neglected and abandoned. Every pet guardian needs a basic plan to pass caretaking responsibilities and ownership of their pet to a person or organization they trust. And the more unique your pet’s needs, the more important it is that you make a plan for it.

02 Nov 2020
covid-19 funeral guidance

Funeral Guidance: Holding Services and Visitations During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the ability of friends and family to come together in person and grieve in typical ways. This is true regardless of whether the person’s death was due to COVID-19 or some other cause. Family and friends are finding alternate ways to connect, support each other, and grieve after their loss. They understand the need to possibly plan for additional memorial services when COVID-19-related restrictions are lifted.

27 Oct 2020
bank accounts beneficiaries

Adding Beneficiaries to a Checking or Savings Account

Your heirs may get tied up in probate dealing with specific financial accounts unless you designate beneficiaries. You can add a beneficiary or a payable-on-death (POD) to most savings and checking accounts. Sometimes your bank will ask for this information when you’re opening a new account, but they don’t always. And sometimes you can’t add or change beneficiaries online. Call the bank directly to ask how you can designate beneficiaries for each of your accounts.

19 Oct 2020
estate planning documents

5 Key Estate Planning Documents You Need

Estate planning is a vital component of every financial plan, regardless of the size of an estate. Unfortunately, the need for estate planning is commonly overlooked. This often results in wasted dollars and emotional hardship that could otherwise be minimized with proper advance planning and action. There are five estate planning documents you may need, regardless of your age, health, or wealth.

13 Oct 2020
is your life insurance sufficient

Planning for your family’s future: Is your life insurance sufficient?

It is important to periodically review your life insurance to make sure that you have a policy that will stay in-force long enough to accomplish your estate planning objectives. Recent actions by the life insurance industry to increase costs associated with some policies make it very important to have your insurance reviewed.

28 Sept 2020
funeral conceirge services

What Services Does a Funeral Concierge Offer?

Planning a funeral can be overwhelming. A funeral concierge works on your behalf to educate you on the funeral services available, then gets you the best prices at your funeral home of choice. One of the biggest benefits of a funeral concierge is that they’ll help you select only the services you want.

22 Sept 2020
estate planning checklist

Estate Planning: 16 Things to Do Before You Die

There's more to estate planning than simply writing a will. Accounting for all of your assets and wishes will ensure your plan is executed smoothly after your death. Along with implementing your plan, you must make sure others know about it and understand your wishes.

17 Sept 2020
beneficiary designations

5 Mistakes When it Comes to Designating Beneficiaries

Chances are you have a beneficiary. They are pretty common, from retirement accounts to trusts to wills. And they figure prominently in life insurance policies. But just as common are certain mistakes that get made around beneficiary designations. Here are five that financial professionals like to warn people about.

15 Sept 2020
life insurance estate plan

Life Insurance | An Essential Part Of Your Estate Plan

Whether your estate is small or large, life insurance is an essential part of your estate plan and should not be overlooked. Life Insurance provides liquidity to your estate and it increases the value of your estate. Benefits are paid quickly to your beneficiaries, once a death claim form and original death certificate is provided to the life insurance company.

03 Aug 2020
why you need estate planning

Estate Planning: Why You Absolutely Need it

One goal of estate planning is to make sure your wealth and other assets go to those you intend (and not to others), with particular emphasis on minimizing taxes so that your beneficiaries can keep more of your wealth. But good estate planning also can reduce family strife, and provide clear end-of-life directives should an individual become incapacitated. Here’s why you absolutely need it...

31 July 2020
estate planning checklist inventory

Estate Planning: A 7-Step Checklist of the Basics

You don’t have to be rich to need estate planning. Your estate includes everything you own, and it can be any size, which is why it can be worth taking time to plan for what happens to it. Here's what estate planning is and 7 things you can do to get started.

20 July 2020
getting your affairs in order

Getting Your Affairs in Order

Preparing and Organizing Legal Documents for the Future— it's this kind of planning that can make all the difference in an emergency. Getting your affairs in order can be difficult, but it is an important part of preparing for the future, for you and your loved ones. It is important to gather as much information as possible to help ease the process.

11 June 2020
life insurance estate planning

Protect Your Estate With Life Insurance

Life insurance may play a vital role in an estate plan because insurance proceeds can be counted on to provide liquidity when it’s needed. With proper planning, insurance money can pay expenses such as estate tax and keep other assets intact.

08 June 2020
charitable donations in lieu of flowers

Memorializing With a Donation

Have you ever noticed that some people request donations "in lieu of flowers" after a loved one passes? The idea behind it is that the flowers will fade over time, but a donation will help someone who is living. It's always a good idea to follow the wishes of those requests. Sometimes the request is for a specific charity, while others request a donation to your favorite cause.

27 MAY 2020
technology estate planning digital

Why You Must Include Technology in Your Estate Planning

The technology you use regularly must be incorporated into your estate planning. The key issue for all your online activities is there is no paper trail unless you create one. Unless you tell them, your executor and heirs have no way of knowing about your e-mail accounts, electronic banking and brokerage accounts, online social networks, blogs, and more.

19 MAY 2020
estate planning checklist 12 steps

Estate Planning Checklist: 12 Steps You Need to Take

You need an estate plan. This is true even if you don't have a lot of assets. It's also true if you're young, or if you don't have close family members. Estate planning means preparing for the inevitabilities of life. People get sick or hurt… become incapacitated, unable to make important decisions on their own, or unable to live independently. Estate planning helps to protect your family and your assets in any of these unfortunate situations.

18 MAY 2020

Estate Planning Documents to Update When Getting a Divorce

If you are considering divorce or beginning the process of getting divorced, you must review your estate plan to make sure it reflects your life change. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how far along the divorce is or how long the action has been pending, the law considers you to be legally married until the judge signs the final decree ending the marriage.

16 MAY 2020

Naming a Guardian for Your Minor Children

Naming someone to serve as a guardian for your child may seem overwhelming. While there is a lot to consider, the bottom line is that you'll need to put these seven considerations in order of priority for you and your children.

09 MAY 2020

Estate Planning During The Covid-19 Crisis

Across the country, Americans are reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. But as volatility impacts all areas of our daily life, many wealthy Americans are looking at their estate planning to see if there are any unique opportunities. While this may seem to be an odd time to focus on estate planning, when it comes to wealth transfer, timing is everything.

30 APR 2020

Pandemic highlights importance of estate planning

In these challenging times, estate planning can be at the forefront of ensuring that clients and their loved ones are protected. Certain high-risk groups may be more motivated to update existing plans or establish estate plans for the first time. Others who have perhaps put them on the back burner now want to get their plan over the finishing line.

29 MAR 2020

Estate Planning Mistakes People Make Over and Over

You should talk to your heirs while you're still alive about your wishes. Confused loved ones and stressed families must endure long, complex legal processes when a proper estate plan isn't put into place, and lawsuits may ensue.

16 MAR 2020

What the Great Wealth Transfer Means For the Economy

The baby boomers hold more than half of all the wealth in the United States. As they age they’re going to begin transferring that wealth to their adult children. That comes with significant consequences for personal finances and the financial advice industry, not to mention ensuing generations.

24 FEB 2020
beneficiaries bank accounts

Bank Accounts & Beneficiaries: Ask Your Institution

You may wish to convert your checking account to a POD (payable-on-death) account if you want someone specific to receive the money in it. POD accounts bypass the estate and probate process. To claim the money, the beneficiary simply has to show up at the bank, prove his or her identify, and produce a certified copy of the account holder’s death certificate.

14 FEB 2020

What Is a Prepaid Funeral Plan?

A prepaid burial plan isn’t as much a product as it is a preparation strategy. It’s simply taking steps to layout everything connected to your funeral, and prepaying the funeral home. Create your plan now so loved ones don't need to do it later.

04 FEB 2020
estate planning in the digital age

Power of Attorney: 5 Different Types Explained

A power of attorney, or POA, is an estate planning document used to appoint an agent to manage your affairs. There are several different types. Each serves a different purpose and grants varying levels of authority to your agent. The most commonly used types of power of attorney are: Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, General Power of Attorney, Limited Power of Attorney, and Springing Power of Attorney.

03 FEB 2020
estate planning in the digital age

The Ultimate Guide To Estate Planning In The Digital Age

Given the nature of our digital world, today, as well as the privacy, security and identity theft precautions you must take, the last thing you want is a notepad in a drawer somewhere. Estate planning is essential. Learn how to be prepared for what is inevitable!

21 JAN 2020
what is a living tust

How Living Trusts Can Safeguard Your Assets

A living trust is a type of estate planning tool that allows you to transfer ownership of your assets to a separate fund while you're still alive. Figuring out who should get your assets after you die can be tough. You want to ensure that each heir gets the right amount, in the way you want to give it and without unnecessary delays. For this reason, a living trust can be very attractive.

10 JAN 2020

How to Make Plans to Provide Care for Your Pet

If you have a pet, you undoubtedly take steps to be sure he or she is cared for if you go on vacation. Consider what would happen if you became incapacitated without provisions for your pet. The best way to take precautions and ensure your pet will be well cared for is by doing some estate planning.

25 NOV 2019

What Happens When You Inherit a House?

Inheriting a house — while a generous gift from a loved one — kicks off a process that can be fraught with emotion. You’re likely receiving this property as a result of a loved one’s death, and the financial decisions that come with inheriting property can be stressful and confusing.

20 NOV 2019

Important Papers to Locate After Someone Dies

Family members will need to locate all of the decedent's important papers. It will give family members and, if necessary, the estate attorney assisting the family with settling the decedent's final affairs, all of the pertinent information needed. Copies of the documents are fine unless otherwise noted.

04 NOV 2019

How to Make Your Funeral Wishes Known to Your Loved Ones

The Final Arrangement Documents You Need for Your Funeral Wishes. Creating a final arrangements document can ensure your final wishes are carried out upon your death and ease the burden of making those difficult decisions for your loved ones.

25 OCT 2019

How Much Inheritance Is Too Much?

Some wealthy parents are concerned that after a certain point, money passed down will be damaging to the next generation. The worry that money might be damaging to those who inherit it is not necessarily a groundless rich-person neurosis.

02 OCT 2019

A Financial Checklist After the Death of a Parent

No one thinks dealing with the loss of a parent will be pleasant. We expect a morass of unfamiliar and uncomfortable emotions. We anticipate unprecedented grief. But no one warns us about how much math and paperwork it entails.

17 SEP 2019

Canada’s Deemed Disposition Tax— What You Need To Know

The deemed disposition tax, which is similar to the estate tax in the U.S., is deferred when assets are transferred to or held in a spousal trust for a surviving spouse. Creating a trust allows you to transfer assets while you are still alive, which avoids probate costs.

19 AUG 2019
secure important documents

Best Ways To Secure Important Financial Documents

Let’s face it, when it comes to storing important financial documents, a shoe box under your bed doesn’t really cut it. Estate-planning documents — such as wills, trusts, living wills, medical directives and powers of attorney —are very important... So where do you keep them safely secured?

09 JUL 2019

Inheriting a Classic Car

When we talk about inheritance, we usually think about land, money, or a house, but rarely a classic car which is why a lot of people have no idea on what to when they inherit one, especially if they have no idea about its value, its make and model, or have little idea about cars altogether.

14 MAY 2019

5 Emotional Blocks to Estate Planning

Death and taxes are two subjects that are both emotionally charged. Nobody wants to talk about either one of them — together they are, well, taxing and deadly.

20 MAR 2019

Planning a Funeral With a Budget

The loss of a loved one takes a heavy emotional toll and —if you’re not careful— it can take a financial one as well... So, what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?

18 MAR 2019

How to Create a Financial Funeral Plan

Funeral costs can create a financial burden for your loved ones if they're not prepared to pay for them. Planning Now for Funeral Expenses Can Help Your Loved Ones Later.

11 MAR 2019

How To Create A Digital Estate Plan

The digital world is now an integral part of our personal lives. Few people consider their digital assets and what should be done with them when they pass away. This is where having a digital estate plan in place can be a great idea.

10 JAN 2019

Personal Representative vs. Trustee

If an estate plan includes a trust, those concerned should understand the fundamental differences between these two roles. Both are types of "fiduciaries" with a responsibility to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries, but each plays a very different role in an estate plan.

04 OCT 2018

12 Documents to Prepare Now for Your Heirs

Assembling legal documents pertaining to your estate is key to ensuring your final wishes are carried out. NO ONE LIKES TO THINK about death and end-of-life arrangements. However, being prepared for the inevitable is not only a smart thing to do, it's also a kind thing to do for loved ones.