Planning Your Legacy

Take Control with Estate Planning

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Estate Planning Puts You in Control

Considering how to tackle your estate plan? Start with these helpful tips so you can plan ahead, have important discussions and regularly update your plan.

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Don't forget these 5 things

Even with the best intentions for your estate, the devil's in the details. Here are some of the typical slips you'll skip because you're reading this.

1. Never updating your will or other documents

Life changes a lot along the way. To make sure your assets go to the people you intended them to, it's crucial to periodically update your will after major life events such as births and divorces.

2. Not taking advantage of gifts to reduce your estate tax

According to the Internal Revenue Code, annual gifts up to $14,000 per spouse may be excluded from estate tax – resulting in potentially $28,000 of estate tax savings that make a difference for individuals, groups and/or businesses.

3. Forgetting about Fluffy or Fido

Your pets are legally your personal property, so you should spell out who will be responsible for them. Set up a pet Trust to help put aside money for the care and feeding of your faithful friend.

4. Selecting an inappropriate person to handle your estate

Sometimes a spouse or child isn't always the best person to objectively handle your affairs after you're gone. Think carefully about who you believe is up for the demanding, objective tasks required of an executor, trustee or guardian.

5. Failing to consider digital assets

Your surviving heirs may not have access to your passwords for all your accounts, including financial and social media sites, which means that's value—economic or sentimental—they can't get to. Make sure to provide all your online user names and passwords.

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