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How to Talk to Adult Children About Your Estate Planning

If you have adult children, you’ve probably done some planning about what you’d like to leave for them when you’re gone. You may even have a will and keep your paperwork and electronic files in places they know how to access. Many parents, however, have not actually talked to their older or adult children about their retirement years and end-of-life financial plans. It’s a subject that many find intimidating and uncomfortable. Or you may think your children don’t want to have such a conversation about that eventual day just yet. If you’re a good planner, take it to the next level and talk with your adult children about your plans and how they should carry out your wishes. The last thing you want to leave them with is uncertainty or possible disputes because of unanswered questions. It’s a given that talking about what will happen to your family after you…

Why Estate Planning Is for Everybody

Estate planning and life insurance go hand-in-hand. Or, as Forrest Gump might put it: they go together like peas and carrots. Thinking about your last will and testament and other end-of-life decisions usually involves thinking about your life insurance needs, too. Unfortunately, avoiding one usually involves avoiding the other – and the majority of Americans are falling short when it comes to estate planning. Do you have an estate plan? Do you have life insurance? If not, here are some compelling reasons to get you going on both fronts. Everyone Has an Estate The popular connotations of the word “estate” can make it sound like estate planning is just for the very wealthy. But you don’t have to live at Downton Abbey to have an estate. Your estate is simply everything you own. If you’re just starting out – or starting over after a setback – it could be your…

To Share or to Save? That Is the Gifting Question

Let’s assume you have or make enough money that you can afford to give it away. Talk about a good problem to have, right? In any case, what are the tax implications of that gift? Your tax benefits or consequences depend on who receives your gift, how much it is, and when it’s given. Here’s a simple way to think about it: If you want to reduce your tax burden this year, give that money to a qualifying charity. If the goal is reducing the size of your estate – and, thus, the amount that can be taxed after you die – consider giving money to family members or any individual who can use your help now. Mom and Dad, Can You Spare $5.49 Million? Americans are living longer, so planned gift-giving is increasingly popular. If you have a sizeable estate, i.e. more money than you’ll need for the rest…