Include Life Insurance as Part of Your Estate Plan

Regardless of how old you are, you’re going to want to think about the future. This includes thinking about a time when you won’t be here anymore. Your eventual death will mean making arrangements for what you leave behind, including survivors.

Close up of a Family Estate planning document

Even if you don’t have much, you’re going to leave behind an estate. Most people will have worldly possessions, money and other affairs that will need settlements. A strong life insurance policy, coupled with documented wishes, will help you ensure that your assets receive the right distribution.

Before Making Plans, Consider the Size of Your Estate

Think about what you might leave behind after your death. Personal items, investments, money, and let’s not forget family and friends. You’ll want to ensure proper care for those items—particularly survivors—after you are not here anymore. Taking care of your final wishes before you die will mean making a settlement for your estate.

Everyone, should think about how much their estate is worth. Simply sitting down and making a list of your assets might help you realize their value. Certain items which will likely need attention include:

  • Expensive, owned property like cars and homes
  • Monetary reserves, including investment and savings accounts
  • Personal possessions, particularly items of value like art, jewelry or keepsakes
  • Pets
  • Dependent people in your care. These might include aging parents, spouses, children or anyone else for whom you assume daily responsibilities.
  • Debt. You might not think of your debts as something to leave behind. However, it stays around even after you are gone. Someone will have to pay it in the end.

Your death will likely leave all of these things (and more) in limbo. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure you leave instructions and money behind to help take care of these items.

Leaving Final Wishes

Ensuring the care of your surviving assets means leaving behind instructions. A Last Will & Testament is one way that a deceased person can leave behind instructions on how their survivors should split up their estates. However, make a Will with extreme care. Each state differs in how the law recognizes final wishes. Simply leaving verbal instructions might not be enough. A strong Will can better cover the proper management of your estate.

To leave a good financial cushion for your survivors, also invest in life insurance. Your survivors will likely need a substantial sum of money to settle parts of your estate, like outstanding debt. They also might need funds to replace the income you no longer provide.

In both of these cases, life insurance can provide the cash to manage these affairs. Therefore, consider the benefits of this coverage early. The sooner you establish coverage, the more cost benefits you are likely to receive.

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