A Word from the Investment Department: The Importance of Estate Planning

B&C Financial Advisors is committed to assisting our clients in all aspects of their financial lives. One important aspect of this planning is estate planning. We find many people are not proactive about this aspect of financial planning due to the desire for avoidance of our own mortality.

It is imperative to have a proper estate plan in place in order to provide structure to your financial life in the event you pass away or become incapacitated. This structure allows your family to focus their energy on grieving instead of being burdened with the excessive complications an unplanned estate entails. An estate plan can be simple or complicated, depending on your personal circumstance. The following are some general issues you may cover in your estate plan:

• Will
• Personal Representative
• Medical Directive
• Power of Attorney
• Trust (if necessary)
• Beneficiary Designation

B&C Financial Advisors helps its clients review the various aspects of estate planning and categorize and discuss the information needed to speak with a reputable estate planning attorney. We then work with you and your attorney to ensure proper action is taken to put the estate plan into place.

I already have an estate plan in place – do I need to do anything?

If you have had a recent change in your life (birth of a child, death of a spouse, large increase in net worth, etc.), you may wish to review and evaluate changes to your plan. If your plan was put in place many years ago, there have been significant changes to the laws that may need to be taken into account.

One area of heightened concern these days is a person’s digital life. The iPhone turns 10 years old this year. Each year, we are adding more and more to our digital life, and with that comes the burden of managing those “digital assets” after our passing. You should take into consideration the passwords you have for various sites, any websites you own, and any social media presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and evaluate what you want to happen with those assets when you are gone.

In conclusion, if you have an estate plan in place, it may warrant a review to determine if it requires amending. If you do not have an estate plan in place, please contact us so we can help you get started and refer you to one of the reputable attorneys with whom we work. Call the office at 904-273-9850 or e-mail us at [email protected] (subject: Estate Planning) for more information.