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Why you must have an estate plan, Now — Even if you don’t have an estate.

No one can predict the future, but one thing is sure: If we leave unanswered questions about how to settle our affairs, life for those we love could be even more difficult — That’s why answering questions now, and formalizing them in an estate plan is an important step that shouldn’t wait.

What exactly is an estate plan? An estate plan is a collection of documents that specify how you want your money and other assets distributed, making it easier for loved ones to handle your affairs during a time of grief.

Your estate includes everything you own or anything you could have an interest in — investments: such as individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds and retirement accounts, your home and other real estate, business interests, and personal property. It also includes assets that you may not typically think of, such as life insurance policies, certain annuities, certain trusts, and joint accounts you own with your spouse or someone else.

beneficiary designations.

One of the most important things to be aware of when it comes to estate planning is the need to name beneficiaries on your retirement plan accounts. You give your heirs faster access to your assets, and manage or minimize the probate process by titling assets properly and naming beneficiaries. Designating beneficiaries gives you control of who will receive your assets after your death. It also helps transition your assets with fewer delays and less costs.

You may update your beneficiaries or your special beneficiary options at any time. However, your designations are irrevocable upon your death. It’s a good idea to review your designations periodically, especially when a major event occurs, such as the birth of a child/grandchild, a marriage or a divorce.

what are the responsibilities of your beneficiaries?

Upon your death, your beneficiaries will need to supply specific information and documentation to Retire Smarter prior to us distributing your assets. You should discuss your designations with your beneficiaries and inform them of this responsibility.

benefits of naming a corporate trustee.

The key to your wealth transfer success is finding trustees who have the right blend of experience and compassion. You’ll want to choose a trustee who can communicate effectively with your beneficiaries, and who can give you the stewardship you need to meet your beneficiaries’ needs and concerns while still achieving your goals.

In many instances, the use of a corporate trustee can be extremely valuable — While having capable and skilled family members, friends or close advisors serve as your fiduciaries is an option, consider whether they are willing and able to serve in this demanding role especially in light of the liabilities they may assume by doing so. A corporate trustee can offer the expertise, objectivity, integrity, and time necessary for managing trust responsibilities.

Read more on selecting a trustee — Navigating Trustee Selection: A framework for selecting the best fiduciary options for you and your beneficiaries.

Give your heirs faster access to your assets and manage or minimize the probate process by titling assets properly, naming beneficiaries, and naming a corporate trustee.

Our Concierge Client Team is here to help you reach your financial goals — Learn more about our unique approach, here.

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October // 2023

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November // 2023

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