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I had the pleasure of being invited to the Best Buy Corporate Campus last month to speak about estate planning. Best Buy created an optional educational series for their employees become more adept in certain areas of their financial lives.  The people that signed up were genuinely interested in their own estate planning situations, which made it incredibly fun for me! The audience varied from young and single, to mid-life with kids, to retirement-aged with kids out of college and on their own.  We focused on the basics of estate planning to define the difference between what a will and a revocable trust can do, who should be their personal representative and/or trustee, and what a Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney can do for them.

Here were a few of my suggestions to think about as we had a LOT of great questions:

  • If you have under $1,400,000 in your estate you can probably get by with wills to distribute your assets. The only thing a revocable trust would do for you at that point would be to keep you out of a probate process (which can actually cost more than setting up a trust)
  • I recommend all parents with college bound children to get a Power of Attorney on their child so they can assist in medical proceedings, talk to the college on their behalf, assist in any legal happenings (hopefully none arise), etc.
  • I also remind people that naming people in your wills and trusts as your personal representatives in not a popularity contest. They will have an enormous responsibility when you pass and it will be during a very emotional time. Choose carefully!
  • Lastly, I remind people about digital assets!! We have more and more of an online presence and your personal representative will be awarded the task of shutting down every online account you’ve ever opened. If they are unable to do this, your online presence could live on forever and be vulnerable to hacking.

If you have questions on any of these items, or if you would like to know more about inviting CAISSA to speak at your next event, contact us today!