By: Jan Paul C. Ferrer
For many of us, estate planning is something we know we should do but often manage to postpone until some indefi nite time in the future. But, putting off this part of your fi nancial life could mean passing over an opportunity to preserve the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to create and to dictate your legacy on your terms.
Why You Need an Estate Plan
The primary purpose of estate planning is to ensure that you control how your assets are distributed. Estate planning is also about planning for unexpected events, such as physical and mental impairment, which may place fi nancial strain on your family.
A well-crafted estate plan is likely to have multiple goals:
• To protect your lifestyle
• To provide for your family and others, including charitable organizations that are meaningful to you
• To control distribution of your assets
• To minimize estate taxes
Your Estate Planning Checklist Depending on your goals, you may need to consider different tools, resources and strategies to help you develop an estate plan that refl ects your priorities. Here are some important documents and services you may need to help protect you and your family in the event of disability:
• A living will is a legal document containing your wishes regarding medical measures that might be taken to prolong your life in case of serious illness or injury.
• A durable power of attorney for health care, also known as a health care proxy, appoints someone you trust to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
• A durable power of attorney for fi nancial matters gives someone legal authority to make fi nancial decisions if you are unable to do so. • An inventory of important information includes information about your property, bank accounts, insurance policies, employee benefi t plans, mortgages and debts. It also includes your estate planning documents and benefi ciary designation forms.
• Disability insurance can help replace a portion of lost income if illness or injury prevents you from working.
• Long-term care insurance can help to pay for the costs associated with disabilities caused by age and infi rmity, such as nursing home care. Other important documents and services help to protect your family and your legacy in the event of your death:
• Life insurance can provide fi nancial benefi ts for your named benefi ciaries if you pass away. Used strategically, life insurance can also help address other estate planning objectives, such as reducing the impact of estate taxes or charitable giving.
• A will is a state-specifi c legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children.
• Trusts may be benefi cial for a variety of life events and situations, including tax law changes, marriage, college saving, a child with special needs, serious illness, inheritance and retirement planning.
The most diffi cult part of estate planning is getting started. Once you begin, you will fi nd estate planning is a positive and constructive way to put yourself in control of your legacy.
Need help taking the fi rst step? Working with a Financial Advisor can help you bring all the elements of your estate plan together to help ensure that you have an integrated strategy in place to protect yourself and your family.
Article by Morgan Stanley and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.
Jan Paul C. Ferrer is a Financial Advisor in Chicago, IL at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). He can be reached by email at janpaul. email@example.com or by telephone at 312 312-419-3535. https://advisor.morganstanley.com/ janpaul.ferrer
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This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The information and data in the article has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. It does not provide individually tailored investment advice and has been prepared without regard to the individual fi nancial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this article may not be appropriate for all investors. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.
Jan Paul C. Ferrer.may only transact business, follow-up with individualized responses, or render personalized investment advice for compensation, in states where [he/she] is registered or excluded or exempted from registration, https://advisor.morganstanley. com/janpaul.ferrer.
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