BOSTON (CBS) – Estate planning is a key element in any financial plan no matter what your age. And it really does matter when you are young. Estate planning allows you to decide how your assets should be distributed upon your death.
And a word of advice to those under 50: young people die also; dying does not just happen to old people. But too often young people think it does and that is a stumbling block to get this last piece of the financial plan finished.
If you do not have a will the state of Massachusetts will provide one for you. It has estate laws that dictate to whom your assets should go to if you die.
And if you are married with young children and both parents die, the children’s guardian will be left up to the state’s court system.
Think about this, do you want your cousin Vinnie and his wife to raise your kids? If there is a lot of life insurance money involved, cousin Vinnie will probably step right up to help out.
So have a conversation with the person you are considering to raise your children. Know what their values are and their patience level.
Estate Planning does not have to be fancy, expensive, or complicated. You start with a will. In it you name an executor/executrix to carry out your wishes and distribute your assets and if you do have minor children you can name a guardian for them.
Next, a Durable Power of Attorney is needed. It allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf legally and financially if you are unable to.
Health Care Proxy: this document allows you to choose someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them. Consider having a discussion with the person you have asked to be your proxy.
Talk about how you feel about death, dying, and life support. To download free copies of the proxy go the Massachusetts Medical Society’s website.
On Saturday May 17th Dee will be the keynote speaker at The Money Conference which is a FREE one-day event presented by The Office of Massachusetts State Treasury and the Massachusetts Financial Literacy Trust Fund, in conjunction with local cities and community partners to help households build their financial knowledge and improve their financial behavior through quality financial education.
Saturday May 17, 2014
8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Everett High School
100 Elm Street
Everett, MA 02149
Questions? Contact Sheila O’Loughlin at (617) 367-6900.
Do you feel your need for financial education and empowerment is urgent? You are not alone! Americans are saving less, spending more and carrying credit card debt over from month-to-month, suggesting that the painful financial lessons of the recent past may quickly be forgotten.