Financial Planning for any Age and More

By MPK Advisors

I thought I’d start out  by telling you what prompted me to write on this subject. After having to help when my mother went through a serious illness, moving her several times after my father passing, and talking to friends and clients about their struggles and what they went through when a parent or loved one passes or became incapacitated, I thought I’d write about what can be done to make things easier for those we love.

Get a trust in place. First and most importantly, I highly encourage your loved ones to create a trust.

One of the most common types of trusts is the revocable living trust, although there are several types of trusts available depending on estate planning goals.  If you do not have one and you have a spouse, or are single, or have children or own a business or own any property or investments (I think that just about covers everyone) you need a trust. Once you have the trust, the next most important thing to do is make sure your eligible assets  are put into trust and, if they can’t be held in a trust, then make sure there is a designated beneficiary assigned for each asset. Please consult with your legal counsel regarding the consequences of not having a trust, and assigning designated beneficiaries, if you should become incapacitated or pass away. Remember, whoever you choose as executor needs to know they are your executor and be willing to manage everything when the time comes. It’s a big job, especially if you haven’t planned, downsized, or provided them with any information in advance.

Plan and put into action downsizing.

Downsize your assets, simplify your investments, and clear out the “stuff” that has been in boxes for ever and no one will want when you’re gone, or you won’t be able to take with you when you move into a smaller housing situation. Selling or donating unused vehicles or RV’s could save you registration and insurance costs immediately. Tax documents should be saved for 5-7 years after filing the returns, the statute of limitations is generally 3 years from the date the tax returns were filed. You need to permanently keep records related to Real Estate purchases (ones you still own) and long-term investments (that you also still own) if you don’t own it and have sold or disposed of it over 5-7 years ago then it could be shredded.

Talk, talk, talk.

I mean tell your kids, friends, loved ones about your plans, your hopes, dreams, and desires, that way they know your wishes if you should become incapacitated or pass away. Last year, my mother became completely unable to make decisions for herself so all decisions concerning her living situation, her financial situation, and her medical decisions had to be made by me and my sister. We were fortunate and knew what she wanted, and we knew where everything was. Thankfully she is doing well, and now we can consult her on any decisions we make on her behalf.  However, this will not always be the case, I have several friends and colleagues this last year that had to make all the decisions concerning their loved one and it was not easy because they didn’t know what they wanted, or where to find information that they needed to make the best decisions for their loved one.

Have an ‘estate instructional manual’ for heirs.

It is recommended that you have a binder, spreadsheet, word document or some other document that lists out where all your assets are, who your financial advisors are (CPA, CFP and attorney) and how to contact them. Also, include the usernames and passcodes for all the various online accounts, and note where a copy of your trust is located. All this information will help the person that is taking over for you when you become unable.

This planning isn’t just important for our “senior” citizens, it should be done by everyone at any age.  You may be the person who has to take over or you may be the person who needs help. Recently I read a book about a young mother of 5 young children whose husband had to become mother and father , literally overnight, due to his wife’s illness.

My hope is that this blog will encourage you to act and move forward in making these changes early.

Please contact our office for referrals for trust attorneys or paralegals, or if you need to schedule a consultation.

03 Oct 2021

Tracking with New Tax Developments

Tracking with New Tax Developments If you haven’t already noticed, there are several new developments in tax laws for 2021 (despite all the new ones we already faced in 2020!).…
08 May 2023

Mid Year Tax Planning

Mid Year Planning Now's The Time - Part 1 I can’t believe it is June already and almost half the year is nearly gone! I’m sure you’re not even thinking…