• The Ward Report 3: Estate Planning

    28 October 2014
    1275 Views

     

    Estate Planning Paper image

    Just the thought of estate planning can make some people cringe.

    Unfortunately, as much as we hope, we won’t be young and healthy forever and creating an estate plan can help to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away or if you are no longer healthy and require permanent assistance.

    There is no time like the present when it comes to estate planning because tomorrow may be too late.

    Successful estate planning can happen through following some simple steps.


    1: Designate a team of professionals

    If you are not a cardiologist, then you probably shouldn’t perform open heart surgery. The same principle applies to estate planning. The easiest way to create an estate plan is to use the experts. Professionals such as estate lawyers, accountants, financial planners and insurance agents are there to help you. They are the ones who keep track of the legal side of estates. It’s their job to help you with the legalities of estates, so use them to your advantage.


    2: Draw up a household balance sheet

    Understanding your household budget can help you to plan for your estate. By figuring out how long it will take to pay off your mortgage or how much your electricity bill is every month will help you to know how much money your estate will require when you are no longer able to take care of these things yourself. Update your balance sheet when things change so that if someone does need to take over your estate, they will know how much the household costs to run on a monthly basis.


    3: Understand your life insurance needs

    Life insurance is again a tough topic because it is forcing you to face the reality that one day you are going to die. However, life insurance is the perfect tool to aid in estate planning because it can provide the funds for your estate. It will ensure that there will be the funds required to pay off your mortgage, pay off your debts or to leave a legacy for your children.


    4: Draw up your will

    A Last Will and Testament is a very important part of any estate. It helps your Executor or Executrix to know how your want your estate to be handled and what your wishes are for your estate. Consult with a lawyer to draw up your will and your chosen Executor(s) know where it is kept and that they are responsible for your estate.


    5: Establish a power of attorney for property

    If something were to happen to you and you could no longer look after your property, who would you want to do it? For your power of attorney for property, you should choose someone who will be able to make day-to-day decisions easily and, perhaps more importantly, respectfully.


    6: Establish a power of attorney for personal care

    Who would you trust most to make decisions for you when you are unable to due to medical issues or old age? The person you choose to be your power of attorney for personal care should be someone who knows you well enough to know when you are no longer able to care for yourself. You should be able to trust them to put your best interest above their own.


    7: Minimize taxes and administration fees

    Taxes are one of the unfortunate necessities of life and even after you have passed your estate will still incur taxes to some degree. Planning for these taxes early on will help you to preserve your estate for children or whoever you plan on leaving your estate to. Planning for the different types of administrative fees (such as: probate, lawyers, property management, etc.) will help to ensure that your estate is dealt with properly and in a timely manner.


    8: Keep track of accounts and important information

    Keeping all of your account information and important documents in one place will help your Executor(s) to deal with your estate properly. The easiest way to do this is with binders. By keeping your most recent bank account statements, legal documents, life insurance policies, investment account statements or stock certificates in a binder (using a separate binder for bills and/or property management) you not only keep yourself organized by knowing your assets, but it also helps your Executor to know who needs to be contact in the event of your death.


    9: Review and update regularly

    This step is very important. Every so often you should review your estate plans to ensure that the plan is still relevant. Although estate plans should be reviewed approximately every 5 years, you should look at your estate plans anytime a new life event happens. For example, did you purchase a cottage? Look at your estate plan because now you will need to account for a capital gains tax that probably wasn’t in your plan before. Make sure all your important documents are still in one place and that nothing new should be added or maybe some things need to be removed. Having an up-to-date plan is essential to successful estate planning.


    10: Let someone know

    Perhaps the most important step of all is to let someone know about your estate plan. What use is an up-to-date binder with your account documents in it if no one knows where to find it. Keep a listing of anyone who needs to be contacted in case of an emergency in the same spot, so whoever you let know about your estate plan will know who they need to get in touch with.


    By following these ten simple steps, you are on the way to creating a successful estate plan.

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  • The dumbest way to die is without life insurance™ (3)

    17 August 2014
    1435 Views

    The unexpected happens every day… The Dumbest Way to Die is without Life Insurance.™  Dumb Ways To Die.™ characters are officially licensed to The Empire Life Insurance Company. © Metro Trains Melbourne, Dumb Ways To Die.™ All Rights Reserved.

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  • Foresters 140 Years

    17 August 2014
    1719 Views

    In 2014, Foresters members, sales partners and employees are joining together to celebrate our 140th anniversary. Earlier this year, 140 celebratory blocks were circulated throughout the Foresters community. These blocks proudly confirm your commitment to our purpose and demonstrate how we are all connected through Foresters. Photos of the blocks were taken around the world and posted athttp://foresters.com/140. Have you taken your picture with a block?  Check out our celebratory video!

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  • Foresters Competitive Scholarship

    17 August 2014
    631 Views

    Foresters is proud to contribute to the opportunities that education can bring to individuals, families and communities. We hope to help cultivate the next generation of leaders and community volunteers while providing well-deserved financial assistance to students as they work towards their educational goals. Our tuition scholarships are available for many kinds of post-secondary education such as vocational and trade schools, community colleges and universities.

    Each year, the Foresters Competitive Scholarship Program2 offers up to 250 tuition scholarships for higher learning worth up to $8,000 each in the US and Canada. Eligible students of any age with a minimum GPA of 2.8 or 70% may apply.
    2This program is administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc.
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  • The dumbest way to die is without life insurance™ (2)

    17 August 2014
    543 Views

    The unexpected happens every day… The Dumbest Way to Die is without Life Insurance.™  Dumb Ways To Die.™ characters are officially licensed to The Empire Life Insurance Company. © Metro Trains Melbourne, Dumb Ways To Die.™ All Rights Reserved.

    Continue Reading
  • What Matters Most

    6 May 2014
    660 Views

    The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

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  • The dumbest way to die is without life insurance™ (1)

    11 March 2014
    707 Views

    The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

    Continue Reading