Investing is important. It can allow us to take care of our families. It can help us secure a comfortable retirement. It can even provide for our children to go to their college of choice. But investing is not the only thing we need to focus our attention on. Some people focus on choosing the best investments, but have no other planning strategies. We must look at the big picture.
It is better to have decent investments and good planning than to have the best investments and no planning. Listed below are the most overlooked planning items.
Six Most Overlooked Planning Items
#1 – A WILL
A will is a legal declaration of a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property or estate after death. It can also establish a guardian for your minor children, and appoint a trustee to manage their inheritance until they are adults.
It’s best to use an attorney who specializes in estate planning to draft your will. If you do insist on drafting the will yourself, make sure to use a kit that will instruct you. A will is a complex legal document. An experienced attorney will help to ensure that all of your bases are covered, and no part of your estate slips through the cracks.
#2 – DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Power of Attorney is a document by which you appoint a person to act as your agent (also called the “attorney-in-fact”). The agent is given the power to sign documents and make financial decisions on your behalf.
- A Durable Power of Attorney ordinarily contains a clause that withholds the authority to act as your agent until you become incapacitated.
- The power can be specific to a certain task, or broad to cover many financial duties.
#3 – DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTHCARE
A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is an advanced directive that designates a person to make healthcare decisions for you if you are too ill and unable to make them. All adults, no matter their age or health, should have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.
#4 – DIRECTIVE TO PHYSICIANS
A directive to physicians is commonly known as a living will. It is a document that allows you to instruct your physician to withhold life-sustaining procedures.
- It is designed to communicate your wishes about medical treatment at some time in the future when you are unable to make your wishes known because of illness of injury.
- Provide a copy of your directive to your physician, hospital, and family or spokesperson.
#5 – PERSONAL LIABILTIY
Personal liability is a type of liability insurance available to individuals and companies protecting them against claims above and beyond the amount covered by their primary policies or for claims not currently covered.
3 Main Functions:
- provide high excess coverage over a primary or underlying liability policy.
- provide broader coverages than the primary liability policy.
- provide a drop-down feature that automatically replaces coverage provided by underlying policies when they are reduced or exhausted by losses.
Personal liability is usually part of your homeowner’s insurance, but is typically inadequate. Increasing your coverage is usually easy and inexpensive. You can increase the personal liability coverage under your homeowner’s policy or purchase a separate umbrella liability policy.
#6 – LIFE INSURANCE
Life insurance policies, including pensions and life annuity policies, provide payments depending on the life or death of a particular person or persons.
Life insurance is important to have, but commonly overlooked as a vital planning element. A number of individuals take out life insurance policies through their employer’s group benefits package. When you have a policy through your employer, if you lose your job, then you lose your coverage. Even worse, you may lose your coverage during a time when you are uninsurable. I cannot stress enough the importance of owning your own life insurance policy.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is popular among consumers because of its affordability and flexibility. With a term life insurance policy, you choose the amount and duration of your policy’s coverage.
- Should you die during your policy’s term, your beneficiaries will receive the death benefit – should your policy expire before you do, there is no death benefit. (term policies are only insurance; they have no cash value)
- Insurers typically offer term policies in increments of 5 years, up to a maximum of 30 years.
- A medical exam is usually required for coverage.
Term insurance can be a great value. However, all life insurance decisions are complex and have far-reaching consequences. Be sure to schedule a consultation with Jon in order to make an informed decision.
Final Note: The younger you are when you purchase the policy the better because premiums will be at their lowest.