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The Importance of Planning for the Unexpected

Although it can be scary to plan for, the events of this year have caused many to think through end-of-life planning for the first time. And although this topic is more serious than what I usually cover, it’s also one I’m very passionate about and consider to be a very important part of any full financial plan. This week I’m going to share a few tips on why this is so important and where you can get started.

The Importance of Assets Planning

It’s a misconception that creating plans around your assets after death is only for the wealthy. It simply means you are proactively making arrangements around where you wish for your assets to go. An asset can be defined as bigger things like your home, vehicle or property, down to smaller items like jewelry. This discussion is important at every income level, as many people have possessions they may not even realize are assets. This may be in the form of a Trust or another option that works for you. You can make arrangements with any financial institution that offers financial planning, or through a firm that specializes in this area.

My Family’s Approach

When we had our first child, we spent time with a professional to establish a Trust and full Estate Plan. We designated where our money would be allocated when we are gone (charity, family, etc.), but also what would happen if we are incapacitated in any way. A big part of that planning was around how our children would be supported and cared for. But ahead of the details, the most important thing is to find a trusted partner that can go over the planning process with you in full, and address any questions you may have. You can meet and talk with someone before moving forward, as this relationship will be important should anything ever happen to you, your partner, or both. Start by asking a trusted financial institution, seeking referrals from those you trust, or doing some research about client feedback online.

Life Insurance

Let’s face it, most of our thoughts are focused on exciting plans around what we hope to accomplish in our lives and the experiences we want to have, not about death. But that means ensuring our loved ones will get to focus on those experiences for many years to come should anything tragic happen. Life insurance is a key aspect of protecting those you love. Anything could happen at any time, and there are just far too many unknowns to contend with. Personally, we have invested heavily in life insurance, and the full peace of mind I have that my family would be cared for should I pass on makes it well worth the investment. Although many employers offer a policy, I highly recommend a secondary plan to supplement. Replacing an income over many years of time is very difficult with most employer policies. The right partner is again important and should be will be willing to discuss all of this and help you make selections based on your income and what’s currently available to you.

While a global pandemic can certainly put things into perspective, end-of-life planning is always an important part of creating a full financial plan. I recommend you take the steps today to seek out a professional that gives you the peace of mind you deserve to go on living life to the fullest.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.

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