Who will receive your possessions if something unexpected happens to you? The thought can be overwhelming, but a good estate plan can help lessen your anxiety.
Estate plans help you decide how, when and to whom your property, belongings and other assets will be distributed after your death. Estate plans aren’t just for wealthy seniors. They’re important for people of all means.
Here are a few simple steps you should take when creating yours.
- Understand your needs. Estate plans can be complex, and they differ vastly between people. Sit down with a local Modern Woodmen representative and other professionals to determine exactly what your needs are.
- Know your worth. After your death, your executor will calculate the value of everything in your name to determine your net worth. This includes cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, automobiles, life insurance, annuities and more.
- Identify your wishes. Who gets your estate? What should they get? When should they get it? How should they get it? These are all questions you and your Modern Woodmen representative can work through together.
- Make sure you’re covered. If you die, will your family have the means to bury you? Will they be able to pay the bills without you? Life insurance can help protect against life’s uncertainties. Protection should be the first step in your end-of-life planning.
- Review the beneficiary designations on your life insurance. Your beneficiaries are the people who will receive the proceeds from your life insurance plan after you die. Are your designations up to date? Using life insurance beneficiaries in your estate plan can be a way to split your estate easily and fairly. Talk to your Modern Woodmen representative for more information.
- Work with an attorney to get a will. This is a legal document that outlines exactly what your wishes are. Who do you want to be the legal guardian for your kids if you die? Who should watch over the money you leave to your family? If you don’t clarify your wishes in a legal document, a court will make these decisions for you.
- Consider a power of attorney and/or living will. This protects and communicates your wishes if you become terminally ill, injured, or mentally and physically incapacitated.
- Update your estate plan regularly. Life changes, and so do you. Keep a close eye on your estate plan and adjust as necessary to make sure it accurately reflects your needs and goals.
Estate planning starts with a good team of people. A local Modern Woodmen representative can work with you and other professionals, such as an estate planning attorney, to meet your unique needs.
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Whole life insurance
Whole life insurance helps protect your loved ones, providing tax-free money when you die, not just if you die during a specified time period. You can get peace of mind, knowing that your family is protected, and you can take advantage of cash value and other living benefits to help you plan ahead – no matter what life brings.