As we all know estate planning is for the most part a financial endeavor. Making sure that your loved ones are provided for after you pass away is obviously going to be a top priority, and the best way of doing so is going to vary on a case-by-case basis. This is why it is so very important to develop a solid working relationship with an experienced and savvy estate planning attorney.
When your attorney gets to know you and gains an understanding of your objectives and the nature of your assets he or she can continually advise you as your life changes and your estate plan needs to be adjusted. Each family is different and there is no one-size-fits-all estate plan. The unique nature of your situation needs personalized attention, and this is something that is important to understand if you are serious about crafting a robust legacy.
The above having been stated, you can give your family financial resources but there will come a time when you will not be around to provide them with advice and guidance. This can leave you with a rather empty feeling when you are considering the implications of your own mortality. You may also be particularly concerned about the fact that your loved ones will be inheriting a significant amount of money at a time when you will no longer be available to counsel them.
One way to preserve your wisdom and guidance for future generations would be to leave behind an ethical will. With these documents you share your thoughts and feelings with your loved ones in an effort to guide them along a fruitful path. There are no particular rules regarding what must be addressed, but these documents have been used in the Judaic tradition for centuries to pass along the spiritual and moral values of the author.
Committing some of your “rules to live by” to writing can be a lasting gift to your loved ones that punctuates your legacy in a heartfelt manner. This can be accomplished via the composition of an ethical will.
The Value of Life Insurance
Anyone who is in the process of creating an estate plan eventually considers whether purchasing life insurance is a necessary part of that estate plan or not. Ultimately, only you can decide whether to include life insurance in your estate plan; however, there are some universal thoughts and considerations that may help you decide.
Life insurance comes in two basic forms–term life and whole life insurance. Whole life, and all of its variations, is equal parts investment and death benefit. Term life, on the other hand, is strictly intended to provide a death benefit. Whole life is complicated and should only be considered after consultation with your financial advisor as well as your estate planning attorney.
Term life insurance provides a death benefit for a relatively small monthly premium. The “catch” is that you will not receive anything back from the premiums if you cancel the policy before you die. Term life insurance usually works best for someone who is young and has not had time to build up and investment portfolio or acquire valuable assets, yet has a family to provide for in the event of death.
Even if you have a considerable estate without life insurance, you may still wish to consider purchasing a small policy that will cover funeral expenses as well as some funds to live on while your other assets pass through probate. Life insurance proceeds are not required to go through probate, which makes a policy a valuable way to get immediate funds to your family in the event of your death.
Our Seminar Schedule Has Been Updated!
The elder law attorneys at our firm are deeply committed to education, because they sincerely want to make sure that their neighbors in and around Mount Clemens are fully prepared for the eventualities of aging. There is always a lot of useful information on this website, and you may want to bookmark our blog so that you can continually build on your knowledge.
In addition to the information that we pass along in writing, we also hold free seminars from time to time. There are number of dates coming up in the near future, and we urge you to attend the session that fits into your schedule. You can visit our seminar page to get all the details.