There is a perception that estate planning is only for the rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, an estate plan is an integral part of ensuring that wishes are carried out should an individual become incapacitated and/or pass away. This applies to estates of all sizes, large and small, the elderly and the young. Each individual’s situation is unique; therefore it is important to get proper legal, tax, and insurance expertise.
Comprehensive Estate Plan
NGFCU has partnered with Affinity Trusts to deliver estate planning expertise and services at a lower cost than most law firms.
Here is what you get:
- Detailed Estate Planning
- Revocable Living Trust
- Summation of Relevant Trust Provisions
- Declaration of Intent
- Pourover Will
- Advance Health Care Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Administration
- Deed transferring Primary Residence into the Trust
- Detailed Successor Trustee Manual
- Individual Bequest Sheets
- Personal Message Guide
- Two Sets of notarized Originals
- Letters of Instruction for Financial Institutions
Summer safety encompasses more than just physical well-being; it also extends to financial safety. The summer season often brings unique financial challenges and considerations like vacations and family trips. Remember, financial security is about making informed decisions, being mindful of your spending, and planning ahead. By implementing these tips, you can enjoy a financially sound summer season.
- Create a budget: Start by creating a summer budget that includes all your expected expenses, such as vacations, events, outings, and any additional costs associated with the season. Having a budget helps you stay on track and avoid overspending.
- Save for summer expenses: If you know you'll have increased expenses during the summer, start saving in advance. Set aside a portion of your income specifically for the months ahead.
- Be mindful of vacation costs: If you're planning a vacation, research and compare prices for flights, accommodations, and activities in advance. Look for deals, discounts, and early booking offers. Additionally, consider traveling during off-peak times or choosing less-expensive destinations to save money.
- Control energy costs: Summer often means increased energy consumption due to higher air conditioning usage. To minimize costs, set your thermostat at a reasonable temperature and use fans to circulate cool air. Make sure to turn off lights, unplug electronics when not in use, and use energy-efficient appliances.
- Monitor entertainment expenses: While it's important to enjoy yourself, be mindful of your entertainment expenses. Look for free or low-cost activities like outdoor concerts, community events, and local attractions. Consider organizing budget-friendly gatherings with friends and family, such as picnics or potlucks.
- Protect your financial information: With the increase in summer travel and online shopping, it's crucial to safeguard your financial information. Use secure and trusted websites when making online purchases. Be cautious of sharing personal or credit card details over public Wi-Fi networks. Regularly monitor your checking, savings, and credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions.
- Review insurance coverage: Before engaging in summer activities, review your insurance policies, including home, auto, and health insurance. Ensure you have adequate coverage for potential risks or accidents that may occur during summer activities, such as water sports, road trips, or outdoor events.
- Plan for back-to-school expenses: While it may still be summer, it's never too early to plan for back-to-school supplies. Start budgeting and shopping in advance to take advantage of sales and discounts. This proactive approach can help you avoid last-minute financial stress when school starts.
Having a plan to manage your health, and financial decisions should you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to do so (“incapacitation”); and being able to ultimately distribute your property to chosen “heirs and beneficiaries” in a manner YOU so wish (quickly, privately and cost-effectively).
EVERYONE! You do not need to be wealthy to have an estate plan; you simply need to have possessions or money, even the smallest amount, to be passed on. Additionally, estate planning refers to medical and health procedures and power of attorney documents that make sure your wishes are carried out if you are unable to make decisions on your own behalf.
"As many as 120,000,000 Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans," says Clark McCleary, president of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC). "That makes it one of the most overlooked areas of personal finance, but it's also one of the most important. Estate planning protects you, your family and your family's future, so it shouldn't be put off."
Probate is the court procedure used to change title to assets from the name of an individual who has passed away, into the name of the living beneficiaries. It is also where all creditors of a decedent file claims to collect their debts and where interested parties who have a complaint regarding the deceased can file their complaint (a will contest). Even without a contest, probate can be costly and time-consuming and can take anywhere from nine months to two years to complete in California. Probate is also a public proceeding.
A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that holds title or ownership to your real property and other assets. When you create a Revocable Living Trust you transfer ownership of your assets to the trust. Transferring assets is typically called "funding." When you transfer title you DO NOT relinquish any control. You can still buy, sell, borrow or transfer.
It includes the details and instructions for how you want your estate to be handled at your death, and who will have the authority to do so. However, unlike a Will a properly funded trust:
- Does not go through probate.
- Prevents the courts from controlling your assets at incapacity.
- Gives you control over the assets you leave to your minor children or grandchildren.
Revocable Living Trusts are most commonly created for the following reasons:
- To avoid probate
- To have control
- To reduce estate taxes
If you die intestate the estate is subject to probate. These proceedings can be costly, time-consuming and can tie up your property for several months or years.
Incapacity planning is a broad area of law that covers how you are cared for if you become physically or mentally unable to care for yourself. The type of care could range from simple tasks like buying groceries, paying bills, and handling financial matters to more important decisions such as selling real estate, or making critical medical decisions. Depending on the needs of the individual or family, incapacity planning could include a number of planning techniques such as Durable Powers of Attorney for Assets and Advance Health Care Directives.
Estate Planning & Trust Services currently only available for members who reside in Arizona, California, or Texas.
Affinity Trusts is not affiliated with or endorsed by Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union (NGFCU). NGFCU does not provide legal advice or services. The views and content do not reflect NGFCU's views and does not endorse Affinity Trusts. Please consult your legal advisor for your specific situation. Member workshops and webinars are provided by non-affiliated third parties on behalf of NGFCU as a Member benefit. NGFCU is not responsible for the products, services, or recommendations provided by workshop/webinar facilitators. Information provided is for informational purposes and should not be constituted as legal or tax advice.
Not Insured by NCUA or Any Other Government Agency
Not Credit Union Guaranteed
Not Credit Union Deposits or Obligations
May Lose Value