To protect your family's financial well being, take a tip from the Boy Scouts and "be prepared." Look over this checklist to see if all your bases are covered in the event of a debilitating injury or death.
Evaluate insurance needs -- Do you have adequate insurance? There are many issues to consider when determining the amount of life insurance needed -- including survivor income, loan repayments, children's potential college costs, and estate-settlement expenses. Also factor in your need for long-term disability and long-term care insurance.
Design an estate plan -- If you don't have a will, you're not alone: The majority of U.S. adults don't have one. Even though drafting a will may help ensure that your final wishes are met, it's often just the first piece of a sound estate plan. Depending on your overall assets, a trust may also be in order so that you can pass on more of your assets to your heirs -- and less to Uncle Sam in the form of taxes. A power of attorney document is also important in case you are incapacitated.
Update beneficiaries -- Have you married or divorced recently? If so, remember to update beneficiaries on life insurance, investment, and retirement accounts. Maintain consistency within all documents and clearly designate primary as well as secondary beneficiaries to avoid problems settling your estate.
Keep financial documents safe -- Are your bank, investment, and employer-sponsored retirement plan statements well organized and in a safe place? What about insurance policies, tax-related documentation, and other important paperwork? After getting these documents in order, be sure to review them with your spouse or next-of-kin.
Creating harmony -- Periodically review all financial documents to determine if they need to be changed. For example, if you've had a child recently or started a business, you'll probably want to increase the amount of your life insurance policy and revisit your estate planning documents.
It can be difficult to cope with an unplanned disability or death, but safeguarding your family's finances can help ease the burden. A qualified financial advisor can be your point person to assist you in putting all the pieces together.
For additional information, call Washington Trust Wealth Management at 800-582-1076.
Any views or opinions expressed are those of Washington Trust Wealth Management. The information provided does not constitute legal, tax, or investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status, or investment horizon. Please consult with a financial counselor, attorney, or tax professional regarding your specific investment, legal, or tax situation. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to provide investment advisory or other services. The information may change at any time without prior notice and is based on data