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Estate Planning 101

When planning for retirement, it’s important to take all aspects of your “golden years” into account — one of the less exciting aspects for many is after your retirement years. Today we’re going to discuss estate planning basics so you can start looking toward how you’d like to pass on your assets to the causes and people you care about.

What is an estate plan?1

Just so we can start on an even playing field, the quick and easy definition of an estate or estate plan is the decided plan of action to transfer an individual’s assets following their death or in the event they become incapacitated. There are several ways to structure your estate plan, but it will, in some way, involve creating a will, naming your beneficiaries, and setting up funeral arrangements.

What is a will?1

A will is a legal document with the sole purpose of instructing how you would like your assets to be handled once you are no longer here or able to manage said assets. Those assets can range from qualified retirement accounts to property, but it should all be accounted for when creating this document. Like many nearing or in retirement, you’ve probably amassed a well-balanced financial portfolio and are probably in possession of more than you may think, so creating a list detailing everything could benefit you in the long run.

What is a beneficiary?1

A beneficiary is simple those you want to receive a portion (or all depending on your wished) of your assets. This can range from family, friends, or even charities or organizations you supported when you were here. Ultimately, this is a very personal decision and should be thought about carefully.

Of course estate planning can be an intense process, which might require help from a seasoned financial professional and even estate attorneys. Consider finding a professional in your area with the connections and experience to help you create a plan that will reflect your personal goals and wishes. To discover more about estate planning, consider finding an American Retirement Institute course in your area today!