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Five Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Brought to you by Jennifer Currin Gutridge, CFP - McGee Wealth Management - FINANCIAL INSIDER -

MCGEE WEALTH MANAGEMENT - Jennifer Currin Gutridge, CFP -Are you a procrastinator; do you put off the essential, but tedious details of your financial life? Have you prepared for those life surprises that can turn your future upside down? When is the last time you reviewed your property and casualty insurance, or your estate planning documents? Have you looked at your beneficiary elections on all insurance, IRAs, or retirement plans? If not, we recommend that you do, because you may find that they need updating.

I love being a financial planner, helping people realize their hopes and dreams. I know that good financial planning is not only about helping people accumulate wealth; it's also about protecting it.

5 COMMON ESTATE PLANNING MISTAKES

1.) Failing to have an estate plan.

  • You need to direct to whom and how your assets will be distributed at your death. Otherwise you'll leave it for the state statutes to control.
  • 2.) Not organizing or titling assets in a way that is consistent with your will or trust.

    3.) Forgetting to update beneficiary designations.

  • Any asset that transfers by beneficiary bypasses your will. If beneficiaries are incomplete, or if the estate is named instead of an individual, the consequences can be costly.
  • 4.) Failing to consider incapacity.

  • It is prudent to have a durable power of attorney that names someone to help with financial decisions in the event that you are unable. You should also have a medical power of attorney so your agent can make medical decision for you, if you are not able to speak for yourself.
  • 5.) Failing to list all assets and family information, and not keeping accurate records.

  • People often undervalue their estates. A common error is that life insurance proceeds and retirement plan proceeds are not taxable in an estate. Life insurance is taxable if it is owned by the insured.
  • These are just five of the mistakes to consider and avoid. I knew a married couple—both of whom were procrastinators. Not only did they not have healthcare powers of attorney; they didn't even have a will. When the husband unexpectedly needed a routine surgery, things didn't go well, and he did not survive the procedure. In the months that followed, his grieving widow was burdened with legal concerns, unnecessary costs, and the loss of assets due to the Oregon state statute awarding part of the estate to his children from a former marriage.

    There are many stories to tell with similar unfortunate endings, most of which could have been avoided with good financial and estate planning. Estate planning is a loving gift to your families and can help save money and anxiety. I encourage you to have a deep and meaningful conversation with your loved ones, and then plan to meet with your financial advisor.

    Jennifer Currin Gutridge, CFP®

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    Jennifer is Executive Vice President at McGee Wealth Management. She serves as the lead advisor to professionals at a number of Fortune 100 companies and advises on a multimillion-dollar county pension plan. Jennifer especially enjoys working with multigenerational clients by helping them preserve and transfer wealth efficiently and in alignment with their family values.

    See her full bio here: www.mcgeewm.com/jennifer_currin_gutridge.htm

    McGee Wealth Management, Inc.

    An Independent Registered Investment Advisor

    www.McGeeWM.com

    (503) 597-2222

    12455 SW 68th Ave.

    Portland, Oregon 97223

    Jennifer Currin Gutridge is the Executive Vice President of McGee Wealth Management, Inc, offering securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through McGee Wealth Management, Inc. McGee Wealth Management, Inc. is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Jennifer Currin Gutridge and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

    While we are familiar with the tax and legal provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. These issues should be discussed with the appropriate professional.