Planning for your family’s financial security for the time you are no longer around to provide for them is not always a pleasant task. Making sure you have a will that outlines your wishes and divides your assets is important in protecting your family, loved ones, and other individuals and organizations who rely on your finances. Life insurance is also an important part of estate planning. So what should you consider in protecting your family’s financial security and in ensuring that your estate is settled exactly as you wish?
Essentially, there are three areas to consider in preparing your estate: life insurance, advance directives, and a will. Each of these covers important and essential areas of estate planning and will ensure that your wishes are met and your family is taken care of.
If you have a spouse or children, having life insurance is a must no matter what your age. Your life insurance needs will probably change over your lifetime, but will likely be the first decision you need to make in estate planning. Purchasing life insurance early in life is always a good idea. You will get more protection for a lower premium. Term life insurance is a good choice when you are young, and it will give you the maximum protection for the lowest premiums. Permanent life insurance is more appropriate as you get older, or are looking for the additional benefit of an investment opportunity.
Advance directives are instructions or plans of action to be taken should something happen to you that makes it impossible for you to make those decision for yourself. This includes decisions about health care, finances, and your estate at the time you pass away. Having these decisions clearly outlined and understood beforehand is important not only to ensure that you are cared for with dignity, but that your loved ones can provide that care without additional stress.
Having a will protects your property and assets, and ensures that they are divided as you wish after you pass away. It also allows you to designate an executor, someone you trust to see that your wishes are carried out. It can also include instructions for important matters such as who will care for your children and how you wish to be buried. A living will is also a good idea if you are concerned with your care and estate matters should you be in an accident and can no longer speak for yourself.
Making sure your family is cared for is always a priority. While thinking of estate planning may not be pleasant, ensuring that your affairs are in order will not only give you the peace of mind of knowing they will always be cared for, it will also give them the peace of mind to cope should the worst happen.