By Yann Kostic from the November 2012 Edition
Estate tax might be changing in future, but that doesn’t mean you should postpone estate planning.
Here are five estate-planning tasks to consider In Ajijic for limited engagement checking off your to-do list now.
• Update your beneficiary designations. If you’ve completed beneficiary designation forms for your financial accounts, you have beneficiaries – and those designations trump other estate-planning documents when it comes to distributing your assets. Review them and ensure that they’re up to date.
• If necessary, designate guardians. If you have minor children, you should name guardians to look after them if you are unable to care for them. It’s possible to name two guardians – one to take care of your child’s day-to-day needs and another to supervise the child’s financial assets.
• Write your wills. You need two types; A living will describes how you would like to be cared for if you should become terminally ill and unable to express your wishes yourself, a last will and testament explains how you’d like your assets distributed after your death.
• Draft powers of attorney. A power of attorney specifies who will handle your affairs if you are still living but incapacitated. Again, you’ll need two: one to handle health care decisions and another to handle financial matters. (The latter is often called a “durable power of attorney.”)
• Name an executor or executors for your estate. When you die, your executor will gather your assets and make sure they are distributed in accordance with your will.
While it’s common to name family members as executors, in more complicated situations you may want to use a professional, such as a bank trust officer. You can name one or more family members and a professional as co-executors. Or you can designate two family members. Also, don’t forget to tell your executor that you’ve named him or her the executor.
Yann Kostic is a Money Manager and Financial Advisor (RIA) with Atlantis Wealth Management specializing in retirees (or soon to be), self-reliant women as well as Expats in Mexico. Yann works with TD Ameritrade Institutional as the custodian of client’s assets. He splits his time between Central Florida and the Central Pacific Coast of Mexico. Comments, questions or to request his Newsletter “News You Can Use” Contact him at Yannk@AtlantisWealth.com, in Mexico: (314) 333-1295 or in the US: (321) 574-1529.