7 Steps to Creating an Estate Plan

Mike thumb  By Michael Morey, Financial Advisor, RJFS

Talk to the Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners about estate planning today, and help protect your loved ones’ tomorrow.

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If you are like most mid-to-late career professionals, you have worked hard to build and create assets and wealth for you and your family. You’ve contributed to your retirement accounts, followed a well-designed strategy for your investment accounts, purchased a home and accumulated other assets, all of which contribute to your nest egg and net worth. You intend for these assets to benefit your loved ones now and in the future, but how do you know what will happen after you are gone?

Planning protects their future

While estate planning can be a difficult subject to think about or talk about, your estate plan is actually an important part of caring for the ones you love. Your estate plan is more than just a will or trust, it is a series of documents to help clarify the complicated tax, financial, and legal steps that your family will need to take to sort out your affairs after you are gone. Working on an estate plan with your financial advisor now can allow you better control of your assets, and ensure the proper distribution of them according to your wishes.

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy

Planning for how your estate will be handled is important for any one, including people from a wide range of financial needs and situations. It is not just for the wealthy. In fact, final expenses sometimes have an even greater impact on smaller estates than larger ones.

Many people fail to develop a comprehensive estate plan that will help protect their hard-earned assets after they are gone. The lack of an estate plan could mean that you have no say over what happens to your assets, leaving the decision making up to loved ones, or most often, the government, potentially exposing your estate to unnecessary taxes. The Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners want to help you succeed in being prepared. Contact us for a complimentary exploration session.

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7 estate-planning tips to help you get started 

Here are several steps you can take to begin your estate-planning process:

1. Clearly define your goals.

Common goals include: to provide for loved ones, minimize taxes, maintain control of assets, or designate power of attorney, among many others. At Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners, we value listening to your specific needs and can help you clearly define your goals. Schedule time with a Morey & Quinn financial planner in Omaha to start your personalized estate plan today.

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2. Obtain the services of a qualified professional. 

Utilizing the services of a qualified professional such as Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners can help you understand what strategies are available and which ones best fit your objectives. Qualified professionals can assist you in making sure your beneficiaries receive your assets in the most cost-effective way.

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3. Take inventory of all of your tangible and intangible assets. 

These include investment and retirement accounts, vehicles, homes, land and other personal possessions. Take detailed notes during conversations with your planner and follow up about any actions you are unclear about. It’s important to understand the steps you need to take to ensure that your estate plan can be fully implemented and maintained.

4. Review your liabilities.

Understand the effect that taxes, probate and the liquidity of your assets can have on your estate. A professional financial planning firm can answer your questions and review these items to help you understand the details.

5. Review your life insurance needs. 

Review the type(s) of policy you own, and how the benefits will be paid if something happens to you and/or your spouse. Your Morey & Quinn financial planner can help you review your policy and determine whether your coverage is cost effective. Changes to an existing policy should be considered if there are changes to your goals, objectives, or lifestyle. Reviewing your policy regularly can help you avoid a lapsed policy and/or unforeseen tax consequences.

6. Name your beneficiaries and assign directives.

As part of ongoing maintenance of your estate plan, you will want to update your beneficiary designations. Remember that your will doesn’t necessarily control who inherits certain assets. Some assets will require separate beneficiary designation forms, including retirement accounts, annuities, and life insurance. Your specific directives indicate who can execute your wishes on your behalf, which may include a financial power of attorney, medical care attorney, limited power of attorney, or a trust, for example.

7. Share and review your plan regularly.

Once you have established your estate plan it is important to share your estate plan with your professional team, including your accountant or CPA and financial planner. This allows them to work together to ensure your wishes are carried out according to your estate plan. It is also important to review your estate plan periodically and make updates as important life events happen. This could include a divorce, a new child or grandchild, the death of a family member, a change in tax laws, or simply a change in your wishes.

Save Your Loved Ones Time and Money with Advanced Estate Planning

Establishing an estate plan can seem like a lot of work and the topics can sometimes be difficult to discuss. But creating the right financial plan now can save you and your loved ones money, taxes, confusion, headaches and time when life events happen down the road. 

To learn more about how to get started on establishing an estate plan, or to simply review the plan you already have in place, contact a Financial Advisor at Morey & Quinn today at 402-502-9900 or visit us at MoreyandQuinn.com.

Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners

Phone: 402.502.9900
Toll Free: 877.541.6593
11225 Davenport St, Suite 109
Omaha, NE 68154

Any opinions are those of Michael Morey, and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.

Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.

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