12 December 2016
New Year’s Resolution: A More Secure Future

With 2017 quickly approaching, now is a good time to help secure your family’s future by making sure you have adequate life insurance and a solid estate plan. Make this your top-priority New Year’s resolution.

Estate Planning

Talk to your spouse and family about inheritances and assets. If your children are old enough (and that age is up to you and your spouse), discuss your plans with them. When it comes to estate planning, you’ll need to decide which family member gets what. This can be difficult, because you don’t want family members to harbor any ill feelings against you, each other, or anyone else in the family when you pass away. Get a sense of what people are most interested in, and divide things up in the way you believe is fairest to everybody involved. This may be easier said than done, but if you and your family put the time into discussing it, the result is bound to be more satisfactory than if things were left unresolved.

Dealing with possessions is one thing, but when you’re talking about finances and accounts, it’s best to get these details ironed out (in writing) so this burden is not left to the family after you’re gone. Consult a trusted advisor at your bank to make sure your affairs are in order, and that what’s in your will matches what’s in the bank records.

Important choices will need to be made. You may wish to leave your children with certain sums of money, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want them to have instant access to that money to do with as they please. After all, this is all about planning for the future. For example, you may want funds to be used for certain purposes, like education or purchasing a house. These restrictions need to be put down in writing. Trust funds may be the right move, depending on your family’s situation. These can ensure that money is used the way it was intended. If your children are older, you may wish to provide them with greater freedom for their inheritance.

There will be many details to work out when it comes to your estate planning efforts. Talking with an attorney is highly advised.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is another critical element of planning for your family to have a secure future in the event of your death. Most people understand this much, yet choosing the right life insurance policy is more difficult.

You can either buy a term life insurance policy or a whole life insurance policy. Term life will cover you for a predetermined amount of time, and after that it expires if it isn’t renewed. Whole life insurance includes both insurance and investment components and builds an accumulated cash value that the insured individual can borrow against or withdraw.

Many people choose term life insurance when they don’t feel the need for coverage once their children get older, move out into the world, and form their own financially independent lives. Others prefer to spend more on whole-life premiums because they want to build an investment. Discuss both types of coverage with your insurance agent, and then decide how much insurance you’ll need. It’s important to review your insurance coverage annually, or whenever you experience a life event such as birth of a child, marriage or divorce, or retirement.

Setting your family up for a secure future starts with setting yourself up for one. That means saving money and having assets to pass on to them when the time does come. That should be priority one when you’re going down your list of resolutions in January. Consider ways to get to a more financially stable future.

Start the year off right by setting up a firm foundation. Help ensure that your family is protected in case you’re not there to protect them and provide income.


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.


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