The questions I hear most from our clients are, "Kate, do I have enough? For my spouse and kids? To retire? To stay in retirement? For my wife if I become impaired?" Clients are asking if they have 'done enough' to ensure success during their life and after.
Tip 1: Plan Ahead
Many families are careful about saving, but forget to maintain their paperwork. If you have children under 18, you must have a legal guardianship document in case you can’t care for them. Regardless of your age, create a will. If you have multiple homes, businesses, a blended family, etc., having a will probably is not sufficient. Creating a trust ensures your wishes are handled without probate. You remove any doubts about what your wishes are when you spell them out. This is the most important gift you can give your children. You will need a Florida attorney to update an out-of-state will once you change your residency.
Tip 2: Update The Details
To protect bank funds from probate, they need beneficiaries just like investment accounts. If you and your spouse have joint accounts, you will need a 'pay on death' to someone in case you pass together. Adding a POD is a better solution than adding an adult child as a joint owner or co-signer. While you are looking at the paperwork, confirm the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies are correct. Having correct beneficiaries saves time and angst!
Tip 3: Leverage Your Team
Keeping up with the rules and tax codes for investments / income is difficult. Communicate with your financial team to ensure you get all the latest benefits. As your children get older, bring them into the conversation. You don’t need to tell them everything, but make them feel confident you have done your planning.
Congratulations! Following these tips should allow you to relax knowing you have done ‘enough’ and that your kids are well protected!
Kate Hyland Mercer is a Financial Advisor for Ferris Wheel Finance, Inc. 941.483.3600. Kate@FerrisWheelFinance.com. Advisory services are offered by Ferris Wheel Finance, Inc., a registered investment advisor in the State of Florida.