Why a Will Should be a Part of Your Financial Plan
Do you have a will, a legal document that states how you want your assets to be distributed after your death? Between 50 to 60% of Americans die without a will, letting state law dictate who gets what of the property they leave behind. Although the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many people to create a will and make estate plans, most Americans still have this on their “to-do” list.
If you have a will, have you kept it up-to-date? Anytime you experience a significant life change, like getting married, having a child, buying a house, or moving to a different state, you should review your estate planning documents and update them accordingly. Estate planning attorneys suggest revising these documents every three to five years, regardless of the changes in your life.
In addition to these lifestyle changes, the changing federal and state estate taxes is another good reason for many people to review and revise their wills. This is a tax on a person’s assets after their death. Most states no longer impose their own estate taxes, but as of 2022, about a dozen states still do.
Even if your estate is not likely to be subject to federal estate tax, a properly drawn will may save your family a great deal of money in state estate taxes. Having a will in place is part of having a comprehensive financial plan.
Seek professional help if you’re in a blended family, wish to establish a trust to direct the disposition of assets after your death, own property in more than one state, want to leave more to one child than to another, own all or part of a family business, have a disabled or handicapped dependent, anticipate family conflict over your will, or own expensive assets not easily valued.
For do-it-yourselfers, online resources include nolo.com, U.S. Legal Wills, LegalZoom.com, and doyourownwill.com. But choose carefully. Some offer basic fill-in-the-blank forms, while others are interactive, allowing you to prepare a customized will.
If you’re a credit union member, you may have access to investment services to help navigate your estate planning. For instance, First Florida Credit Union members can access professional financial planning resources through First Florida Investment Services.* Estate Planning is one of the many services they provide.
Already a member of First Florida Credit Union and want to learn more about how to build a comprehensive financial plan? Contact First Florida Investment Services today by calling (800) 766-4328, ext. 8806.
*Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. First Florida Credit Union and First Florida Investment Services are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using First Florida Investment Services, and may also be employees of First Florida Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of First Florida Credit Union or First Florida Investment Services. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
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