Americans believe that it is important to have a will, but less than half have one. Not only do many Americans lack a basic will, they often lack very important legal documents like a power of attorney, an advanced healthcare directive (living will) or HIPPA authorization forms. We will begin this discussion in part 1 of 2.
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When you’ve worked so hard to accumulate and save, why would you leave your legacy in the hands of the someone you don’t know?
That’s what might happen if your legal documents aren’t in order and more than 50 percent of people fall into that category. Even though we realize the importance, it’s easy to put the responsibility off because we don’t believe anything is going to happen to us.
But that’s no excuse to be unprepared. Should something happen to you, your family will rely on those legal documents to ensure every asset gets to its intended destination. The only want to make sure that takes place is to create your will, assign your power of attorney, determine your beneficiaries and then keep everything updated as life progresses and changes happen.
This episode of Your Money & Your Life will talk about this topic. Today’s episode will be the first of two parts that dives into legal documents and why they’re a key part of your retirement plan. Don Cash will walk us through the key elements and what you need to consider about each document.
It’s difficult to have these conversations and consider these scenarios but we have to do it. We want to help you do that with these episodes. Listen to the entire show above or click the timestamps below to skip ahead to a specific segment.
1:30 – Don Cash, a NY Jets fan, shares what the acronym J-E-T-S stands for in 2019.
2:26 – A recent survey found most Americans find it’s important to have a will but less than half actually have one. Why is that?
3:45 – We’re creatures of habit so if no one is talking about these things, they are easily ignored.
5:42 – What are some reasons you need to update your legal documents?
7:50 – A couple more things people should think about: gifting assets, protecting the children, clear up conflicts.
9:07 – For many folks, the 401k, IRA, or life insurance is the biggest asset and it doesn’t get passed on based on will. Instead it goes off beneficiary form.
9:40 – It’s a tough issue to tackle which is why we work to help clients on these circumstances.
10:43 – Not only do we avoid this for our own finances, but we also don’t help our children.
12:02 – Mailbag question: I have to pay an extra premium for Medicare because my income is too high. My wife passed away a few years ago but my income hasn’t really changed. Am I stuck with this penalty?
14:02 – There is an appeal you can file if the surcharge is due to 1 of 8 life-changing events.
Medicare Surcharge and Appeal Form: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-44-ext.pdf
Caring. Com Estate Planning Survey:https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/wills-survey/
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Phone: (732) 784-2867
Donald W. Cash – CPA, CFP® is an independent advisor. Don began his career in 1985 as an accountant after graduating Rutgers University. In 1990 he entered the field of Estate Planning with a concentration in long term care planning. Don has been advising clients in the baby boomer and retirement market for 20 years. He has helped over 1,000 families with their planning needs. He advoctaes a holistic approach to Estate and Financial Planning as has relationships with other professionals including Attorneys, CPA’s, Mortgage Specialists, Insurance Specialists and Asset Managers. Don is married to Cathy and have 4 children, Carly, DJ, Nick and Tori. They live in Freehold, NJ.