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More About Asset Protection Planning

 Do I need life insurance?

You would have to come into the office for a chat for us to answer this question specifically.  However, here are the general guidelines: If you have someone who depends on your income for support, you need life insurance.  Children, spouses, partners, pets, and parents are the most common examples of dependents.

You may also need life insurance to fund a business buyout, equalize inheritances, or pay administration fees and taxes.

Do I need disability insurance?

If you’re working and depend on that earned income to pay your bills and support those you love, you likely need disability insurance.  Disability insurance provides an income stream if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.  WARNING: disability insurance policies and their definition of “disability” can be tricky.  We can help you determine whether this kind of protection is appropriate for your individual situation and, if so, we’ll connect you with a reputable insurance agent.

What happens if I don’t have an estate plan?

If you don’t have an estate plan, the government has a plan for you – and you probably won’t like it.  For example, it’s the court who will decide who raises your children and who handles your finances and private matters.  And, it’s state law that will decide who inherits from you – it may not be who you think.

Will the state seize my assets if I don’t have a will?

No.  It’s a common fear, but no.  If you die without a will, state law will determine who inherits.  It’s only if you have no will and no living relatives that your assets will go to the state. Your long lost cousin Sal will inherit before the state.  However, if you received certain government benefits during your lifetime, there may be some reimbursement issues.  These would be individual to you and your situation.

Who will take care of my finances if I become disabled?

Disability is the perfect example of needing trusted helpers.  If you have an up-to-date power of attorney, the named agent will be able to manage your finances.  If your have a living Trust, your incapacity Trustee will be able to manage your trust property.  Unfortunately, if you don’t have a power of attorney and/or an incapacity trustee, your loved ones will battle it out in court and the judge will decide who’s in charge.

TIP: Be sure to name alternate agents and/or alternate trustees in case your primary agent is unable or unwilling to serve.