In addition to the reasons listed above, some people take an estate planning shortcut and think that simply adding a loved one(s) to their title and bank accounts is enough.  This “poor man’s” estate plan presents lots of different problems.  Most importantly, it doesn’t shield the assets you want to leave to loved ones from creditor claims or the outcome of a messy divorce.  For example, if you add your son to the title of your home and bank accounts and he  goes through a divorce, then the home and accounts are considered marital property.  This means his ex-wife is entitled to a portion of the value of the home and bank accounts.  I betcha you never considered the potential problems with joint tenancy.[push h=”20″]

As mentioned in this article from AARP, “Having a will or living trust is important for every family, regardless of how much money they have.”  It provides some peace of mind and certainty about how things will be handled if you pass away or suffer some serious illness or disability.”

Here are some easy things you can do to get yourself started on putting your financial affairs in order.

  1. Make an inventory of your assets (bank accounts, investments, property, jewelry art, etc.).  You can use this handy dandy Net Worth Calculator to get yourself started.
  2. Review whom you’ve named as beneficiaries of your life insurance, retirement funds or investment accounts.  
  3. Download my FREE e-Book “10 Steps to Getting Started on Your Estate Plan”  to help get your thought and wishes organized.

And last but not certainly not least, contact me for a FREE Estate Planning assessment.  I can be reached by email at gmsmith@jamiilaw.com or by phone at 312.868.0781.

CategoryLegal Advice
  1. April 21, 2013

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