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Check Your Beneficiary Designations

Check Your Beneficiary Designations

I regularly urge readers to organize their estates and I’ve talked at length about including all assets in that planning, so I would be remiss not to mention an important piece of estate organization advice. Make a habit of periodically checking the beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies – as well as other financial accounts for which you may have beneficiaries. The reason for this is that these designations bypass your will. That means that the proceeds of the insurance are not controlled by your will but rather the beneficiary designation listed on your policy.
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Should You Consider a Trust?

Should You Consider a Trust?

When most people hear the word “trust,” they think of the ultra wealthy. And for good reason. Many wealthy people use trusts to protect their assets from estate taxes and other financial threats, and to pass along fortunes to children and dependents. But trusts can be used for a number of purposes beyond just saving on estate taxes. Here are a few of the reasons you might want to consider a trust as part of your financial and estate plan. I’ve also included a brief description of some of the types of trusts people have used in these situations.
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Living the Legacy

Living the Legacy

Family traditions are a wonderful way in which to tell the story of a family. They are also a great way to provide a sense of identity for all the members of a family, young or old, near or far. The purpose of a tradition is to create something that is special, something extra that lifts a family activity or event above the ordinary. But it doesn’t have to be big. A family tradition can be as simple as the ritual of a bedtime story or family dinnertime. It’s the communication and the sharing, the thought and intentionality that are important. And those are the qualities that will be remembered.
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The Legacy Dilemma

The Legacy Dilemma

For many years television shows reflected the concept of the traditional American family – a father, a mother and biological children. Think “Leave It to Beaver.” There were, of course, exceptions. “The Brady Bunch” comes to mind. But for the most part it was the nuclear family as it then primarily existed.
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Make Your Digital Assets Available to Your Family

Make Your Digital Assets Available to Your Family

I’ve been writing a lot about the digital asset portion of estate planning, topics like defining and identifying digital assets, starting the planning process and navigating the legacy element of social media platforms. With these subjects on the brain, a recent digital legacy planning article in the Business Standard jumped out at me. It seemed to funnel everything I’ve been saying into one poignant point: Family history is the fabric of who we are as individuals.
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