Sean Casterline

Estate Planning Tips from a Financial Advisor

 Sean Donovan Casterline

Sean Donovan Casterline

4 Estate Planning Tips You Need to Know

The legacy you leave behind goes far beyond your assets. It is a collection of everything from your personal wishes, your family, and the memories you have carried along the way.

When the time comes to properly plan your estate, you want to ensure everything connects to properly reflect the legacy you have built. Use these 4 estate planning tips from the financial advisors at Delta Capital Management to help you.

1. Get Your Core Documents Set Up Right Now

Core documents refer to all the major documents that need to be in place to properly manage your estate. These include the following:

  • Medical Documents: Health directives such as a DNR or other medical preference should be set up immediately. This also includes naming a power of attorney who must make important decisions for you if you are incapacitated.

  • Will: This essential document shows how property and assets are distributed. You also can name guardians for any minor children you have. While a basic will is straightforward, things can get somewhat complicated if you have several assets.

  • Trust: These documents appoint a trustee who oversees the distribution of the assets named in the trust. Trusts avoid the public probate process, but it will likely cost more to set up.

The plain and simple here is not to wait another minute to get these documents ready to go.

2. Alert Family and Loved Ones Where Your Documents Are Located (and How To Access Them)

Straightforward access to your critical documents is essential for your loved ones. Without this knowledge, what happens should you experience an emergency?

Often, someone will need to access documents like your estate or medical planning records immediately. Ensure that your loved ones know exactly where these documents are located and how to obtain them.

For instance, you may keep important documents in a safe that requires a combination. If you are incapacitated, you will not be able to provide the combination to those who may need your documents. As a general rule, ensure your loved ones have a combination or other access method ahead of time.

You may also keep documents digitally stored or within financial accounts. Much like physical documents, make sure family and loved ones can access your accounts if you are not able to. Keep a master list of these digital assets with the following:

  • Financial Institution/Bank

  • Account Number

  • Login Credentials and Instructions

  • Type of Account

3. Review Your Estate Documents Regularly

Typically, people want to get the estate planning process finished and “be done with it once and for all.” However, it remains highly important to occasionally review these documents.

Sometimes regulations or rules about taxes or estates and wills can change. You may also experience a change to your own personal plans in how to will your assets.

You should review your plans every few years to make sure they still align with your wishes. You should also review the documents if there are any other changes to your family situation or tax laws.

4. Take Action Now With Delta Capital Management

Last but not least, what should you do if you have yet to get your estate plans in order? Honestly, the best time to get started is yesterday, but the second-best time is right now.

The financial advisors at Delta Capital Management can help. We will work with everyone from tax, estate planning, and legal standpoints to align your estate goals with your wishes.

Get in touch with Delta Capital Management today to see how we can help you.