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Plan for Life without You

Some individuals’ estates create difficulties for their surviving families — while the estates of many others do not. The difference is usually due to gaps in planning.

A couple discussing insurance with a professional.

Carefully making advance arrangements for the assets you will leave behind can mean that your family will not experience problems with your estate for reasons such as missing documents, lack of tax planning or a funding omission that prevents a trust from working as intended.

Beware of document gaps

Missing or outdated documents may result in your assets not being distributed as you intended.

A will is the foundation of an estate plan. Yet some individuals never get around to writing a will — or they create one, but let it become outdated.

The way your assets are titled is also important. For example, life insurance proceeds become part of the policy owner’s estate. Having someone else (or a trust) own the policy can keep the insurance money out of your estate — and out of tax danger.

Although their family situation changes, many individuals don’t change the beneficiary designations they’ve made for their 401(k), IRA or other retirement assets. Simply reviewing and revising your beneficiary choices periodically can prevent potential estate problems.

Review planning gaps

If you have a substantial estate, taxes may become a costly issue. If you fail to plan for the possibility of estate taxes affecting you in the future, you may unnecessarily compromise your family’s inheritance.

Follow up

Once you have a plan in place, it’s important to follow through on it. Your financial and family situations could very well change in the future. Be sure to review your estate plan periodically to make sure it still meets your needs.

Notices & Disclosures
Article is adapted from content provided by DTS.

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