Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Don’t Put it Off: A User-friendly Guide to Organizing Your Estate Plan

It is an unpleasant thing to think about but having your estate in order before something happens to you is critical.

By Echo Huang, CFA, CFP®, CPA

Nobody likes thinking about the end, or picking a guardian to raise your children, or having to pick which of your children would best at managing your money in your absence. But the thing about estate planning is, if you don’t do it, you lose your say in how things are handled when you pass away or if you are incapacitated and unable to speak on your own behalf. Without a will, your estate may end up in court, divvied up based on a judge’s decision—not your own. Without specific terms set in place, you may not get the medical care you would prefer, or the preferred custodial caretaker for your children. For those reasons, it is better to face the discomfort of our mortality and make sure everything is up to date and in order. With your estate planning checked off your list, you can rest assured that in an unthinkable situation, you and your family will be covered.

The time is NOW to think about Estate Planning

By Tyler Lodahl

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” This quote, taken from the Lord of the Rings novels by J.R.R. Tolkien comes when the main character, Frodo Baggins, is faced with a daunting task of leading his close companions on a perilous task to save the world as they knew it. While this quote can have many deep meanings, it reminds me of the importance of planning for the unexpected. Frodo, unsure of what was on the horizon, was reminded by his companion Gandalf that while we are unsure of the future, we have the power right now to decide what to do with the time that we do have. Growing up, I pictured estate planning as the rather dreary process of establishing a will that ultimately provided instructions as to the final disposition of one’s estate, or everything one owns. But when I was finally exposed to the topic of Estate Planning in my academic studies and throughout my preparation for the CFP exam, then I truly understood its deep significance and how the estate planning process encompasses so much more than I initially imagined. Even now, as a recent college graduate without dependents, I understand that while I may not “need” to have an estate plan prepared any time soon, the amazing benefits and peace of mind it can provide in the present-day and in the future make it worth the effort. Below are a few reasons why beginning to think about, prepare, or even update your estate plan NOW can both provide peace of mind in directing even more of what will happen upon your death or incapacity, and also ensure that your goals and passions while living can be achieved after death.

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