Define Personal Intentions & Determine Asset Distribution
As part of our Loose Ends series, we consider several planning areas that should be regularly re-assessed and aligned with updated goals, documents, conversations, etc. Here we look at the loose ends to tie off related to your Last Will & Testament.
A last will and testament is the basic instrument of estate planning, utilized to guide the distribution of assets from an estate upon the death of a testator. Without a legal will in place, state law otherwise mandates the distribution of assets. A will allows you to a avoid “Intestate Distribution,” appoints guardians for your minor children, and names the trustees to handle your financial assets for your minor children.
To establish a will, you’ll have to select an executor, trustees, successors, beneficiaries, guardians(s) for minor children, sub trusts (marital and/or family), situs (state law), and distribution provisions (postmortem).
Potential loose-ends to secure and manage
- Regularly verifying beneficiaries (think – new children, grandchildren, marriages, divorces)
- Regularly verifying dispositive provisions (changes in desires or circumstances)
- Ensuring your burial requests have been captured and communicated (see updating your Memorial Instructions)
- Noting assets and important gifts you would like to leave to certain people (also see the Balance Sheet and Personal Property Asset Microscopes in our upcoming blog)
If you are interested learning more about our Loose Ends – Wealth & Beyond programs check out our recent blogs on the subject which include specific areas to concentrate on tying off loose ends
- LEM – Looking at Wealth & Beyond – Getting the Most out of the financial future you have built
- LEM – The Bigger Why – Which provides an overview of Loose Ends Management.
- Reviewing Your Memorial Instructions – Ensuring your wishes are well thought out and documented
- Reviewing Your Trust Documents – Estate planning revised
- Reviewing Your DAF & Other Philanthropic Vehicles – Leaving a legacy and giving to the causes that mean the most to you and your family
- The LEM Asset Microscopes – Getting focused on documenting assets
- Family Limited Partnerships – Making decisions with those you love the most