Do You Have a Will? 3 Basic Estate Planning Documents You Should Have

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published January 16, 2017. The information is still current as of this date.

A 60-second read by Victor Cannillo:  If you haven’t completed your estate planning documents yet, consider making it a priority. Having your estate planning documents in place can help to prevent issues down the road and ensures that your specific wants and wishes will be carried out. For example, did you know that technically, everyone has a will? The question is do you have a personalized will or the standard state version?

Here are the 3 most basic estate documents you should have:

Continue reading “Do You Have a Will? 3 Basic Estate Planning Documents You Should Have”

Why You Should Review Your “Digital Estate” Plan

A 30-second read by Nicholas Scheibner:  When a family member passes away, it is of course an emotional and stressful time.  For most, a significant portion of the stress can stem from the financial decisions the deceased made, or did not make, during their life, and what needs to be carried out by the loved ones left behind.  In many instances, a will is constructed to help direct some of the financial assets, per the request of the deceased.  However, financial accounts are not the only stress inducers.  Online and social media accounts are increasingly becoming more important to people. There are things you can do now to help your family put in order your “online life”, often referred to as a “Digital Estate”, when you are no longer around.

We suggest keeping a separate document with your will, containing any usernames and passwords to your online accounts.  The most important item will be your list of email accounts.  With access to your email accounts, a trusted family member can “reset/forgot password” most of your financial and social media accounts in order to close, or manage the accounts.  Also – this can sometimes be a quicker way to stop any recurring payments for online services, instead of calling the company and proving the person has passed away.

If you are uncomfortable writing out all of your usernames and passwords, you can begin to use a “password manager” that will store all of your information in a secure digital vault.  The only information your trustee will need is the username and password for the “password manager”.

Keep in mind, it is extremely important to watch over a deceased family member’s financial assets and credit, as a deceased person has a very high risk of becoming a victim of financial fraud and identity theft.

In order to prepare your family for what needs to be done towards end-of-life and once you have passed, we recommend reading some of our other estate planning posts.  And again, do remember to consider all of the online, financial, billing, and social media accounts that will continue if you were to pass on. 

Please reach out to your Baron Team with any estate planning questions.

Baron Financial Group Attends Autism New Jersey’s 35th Annual Conference

We recognize that the financial planning challenges faced by families with special needs members are significant. When it comes to planning for the special needs community, the need for financial professionals who have comprehensive knowledge and experience is essential to meet the specific challenges of these families. We take great pride in helping families address today’s needs and plan for those that are likely to follow.

Nicholas Scheibner, CFP®, of Baron Financial Group, attended Autism New Jersey’s 35th Annual Conference on October 19th and 20th in Atlantic City. Sessions included government benefits, transitioning period for children out of school, and Special Needs trusts.

Autism New Jersey is the state’s leading autism advocacy organization, supporting families and professionals through their four service pillars:

  • Information
  • Education & Training
  • Public Policy
  • Awareness

“Autism New Jersey advocates, with a strong and unified voice, for appropriate and effective policies and services that will benefit children and adults with autism living in New Jersey. Autism New Jersey is a nonprofit agency committed to ensuring safe and fulfilling lives for individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals who support them.”
                                                        -Autism New Jersey 

 

Please contact the Baron team to learn more about our services for families with special needs.

What is the best way to plan for your assets to remain within your bloodlines?

A 60-second read by Nicholas Scheibner:  When planning your estate, it is important to divide all of your accounts into two groups:  accounts with designated beneficiaries and accounts with no designated beneficiaries.  Examples of accounts with designated beneficiaries are 401(k)s, IRAs, transfer of death (TOD) accounts, and other retirement accounts. The designated beneficiary on an account bypasses your will.  For example, if your will states that all of your money is to pass on to your child, but your 401(k) primary beneficiary is an ex-spouse, your ex-spouse will inherit the money from your 401(k).  It is crucial that you review your beneficiaries on your accounts to make sure they agree with your desires.

Continue reading “What is the best way to plan for your assets to remain within your bloodlines?”

Do You Have a Will? 3 Basic Estate Planning Documents You Should Have

A 60-second read by Victor Cannillo:  If you haven’t completed your estate planning documents yet, consider making it one of your goals for the New Year.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to start crossing off tasks on your list. Having your estate planning documents in place can help to prevent issues down the road and ensures that your specific wants and wishes will be carried out. For example, did you know that technically, everyone has a will? The question is do you have a personalized will or the standard state version?

Here are the 3 most basic estate documents you should have:

  1. A Last Will and Testament
    A document dictating how you would like your assets to be dispersed after death; to whom do you want your assets to pass? Having a Will safeguards your wishes. If you die without having a Will in place, the State will decide who is to inherit from your estate. The Will can also be useful to save estate taxes, create trusts for children and establish guardians for minor children.

  2. A Durable Power of Attorney
    A document in which you give another person the authority to act on your behalf. If you were ever to become incapacitated, who would you feel comfortable standing-in on your behalf when it comes to your finances, signing your checks, etc.?

  3. A Living Will (also known as an Advanced Medical Directive)
    A document outlining your end-of-life medical wishes if you are not conscious to make those decisions for yourself. What medical actions do you want to take place? It may also allow you to appoint a Health Care Representative to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.

For more specific information on these documents and to start the process of completing them, contact an estate attorney. Make sure he or she specializes in estate law. If you would like assistance finding an estate attorney that fits your specific profile, feel free to reach out to your Baron team.