COVID-19 UPDATE: For all American Retirement Institute registrants. Please read this statement about how classes will proceed during this changing environment

Important Questions to Ask About Estate Planning

Estate planning is designed to help make sure the wishes you have for your assets are met. The topic can be a difficult one to approach, which is why there are financial professionals and estate planning attorneys who can offer help around this topic. Here are some important questions to ask the  professional you’re working with about your estate plan:

How Can We Reduce Taxes on My Estate?

Taxes can be one of the largest issues you face in estate planning, taking away from what you leave to your loved ones and costing them as well. The goal is to protect what you’ve saved from taking a substantial tax hit. Taxes are inevitable, but you shouldn’t have to pay more than necessary, and a qualified financial professional should be able to suggest strategies that could work for your situation.

What Documents Should I Consider?

A will and trust are two documents to consider adding to your estate plan, but there are other documents to think about as well. A living will, a type of advanced directive, can be used to specify the type of medical care you do or don’t want if you become unable to communicate your wishes.1 A living trust, or revocable trust, grants a trustee that you designate the responsibility to manage your assets for the benefit of the eventual beneficiary.2 There are other options that may fit your situation, such as an irrevocable trust. Your legal professional can help you determine which documents may be useful in your particular situation.

What About Life Insurance?

Life insurance guarantees payment of a death benefit to named beneficiaries when the insured passes away.3 There are many types of life insurance, including term life, level term, increasing term, and many more.3 There are also many considerations, such as premiums, riders, and beneficiaries. Ask your financial professional what type of life insurance could be right for your situation. They can help walk you through the process so that you are properly insured.

While it may be difficult to think about making plans for once you pass away, it’s important to ask the right questions. Estate planning impacts not only you but your loved ones as well, and you don’t want to leave added burden on them. Make sure you work with someone who has your best interests in mind and can help you create an optimal plan for your situation.