5 Key Questions to Answer When Creating Your Will

If you don’t want important decisions to be left up to the state when you’re gone, you need a will. If the idea of creating a will feels like you’re tempting fate, think of it as a road map you’re leaving your family, so they don’t have to stress over making the right decisions on your behalf. First, you need to understand the differences between a living will and a last will and testament, usually referred to as a will. These are two different documents that serve different purposes. A living will serves to state your wishes in the event

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Five Topics to Discuss With Your Spouse Before You Retire

You may have a vision for your retirement, but does your spouse share that vision? Spouses often disagree about many key retirement details. It is important to work together to come up with a plan you both can accept. Many husbands and wives are not in accord about retirement. For example, a study by Fidelity Investments found that one-third of couples disagreed or didn’t know where they were going to live in retirement, and 62 percent didn’t agree on their expected retirement ages. Here are some important things to discuss with your spouse as you get ready to retire: Timing

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The Uncertainties of Creating an Estate Plan

There are many unknowns when planning an estate, but you can’t let the uncertainties get in the way of creating any kind of plan. Having an imperfect plan is usually better than having no plan at all. When planning an estate you want to be able to consider all the angles, but there are inevitably a number of “known unknowns” that can make planning difficult. These include: How long you will live How much money you will have left over, which can depend on longevity and potential need for care Your children’s health Your children’s financial stability, now and perhaps

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10 Questions To Help You Create Your Will

A Holistic Approach to Your Affairs For many people, especially those approaching middle- or retirement-age, know they should put together a plan for their estate, but feel overwhelmed by the details and options. They continue to put off estate planning for “another day” until, often, it is too late. Younger people also should consider their affairs, because there is no time like the present and because tomorrow is never guaranteed. In fact, putting together a comprehensive estate plan, whatever your particular situation in life, is easier than you think. There are five major components of any estate plan, addressing both

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Understanding the Differences Between a Living Trust and an Irrevocable Trust

Trusts can be useful tools to protect your assets, save on estate taxes, or set aside money for a family member. But before you commit to adding a trust to your estate plan, make sure you understand the differences between revocable (also called “living”) and irrevocable trusts because each offers advantages and disadvantages, depending on their purpose. While the two main types of trusts differ in how they are structured and taxed, both types of trusts are tools for setting aside assets and distributing them according to specific wishes and instructions. They can protect one’s property, safeguard a family’s financial

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Providing for Your Pet with a Trust

How can you ensure your pet will be cared for? One option is to create a pet trust. While you can give directions in your will to leave your pet to a caretaker, there is no guarantee that the caretaker will continue to care for your pet. A pet trust can provide a little more security for the pet because a third party — the trustee — is obligated to ensure the pet is cared for. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds

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