Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh 2016 Spring/Summer Edition - page 43

Boomers Resource Guide
• Spring/Summer 2016
Whatever your stage in life, it
is a good idea to think about and
plan for how your future affairs
will be handled. A few simple steps
today can give you peace of mind
tomorrow by ensuring that you and
your loved ones are well protected.
Preparing for your f inancial
future can seem like a daunting
and confusing task. It is an easy
misconception that not everyone
has to plan; either not yet, or not
officially. Perhaps you fall into this
category, and have been waiting for
“the right time” to start planning.
Estate planning is one of the
most overlooked areas of personal
financial management. It has been
estimated that more than 120million
Americans lack the proper estate
planning to protect themselves and
their families (Source:The Financial
Awareness Foundation).
What is an estate? Your estate
is made up of assets owned in
your name. This can include your
house, investments, furniture, cars,
art, jewelry – anything of value. It
can also include cash, stock, and
insurance policies. It is important
to remember that your debts have
an effect on your estate, too.
A carefully constructed estate
plan is vital for several reasons:
• First, it ensures that your
wishes are carried out as you
intended. A clear plan will be
easy for your family to follow.
It will organize your assets,
and allow you to distribute
your property to whom and in
what amounts you wish. Dying
without a will - also known as
dying “intestate” - can be costly
to your heirs and leaves you no
say over who gets your assets.
• Second, it permits you to take
advantage of a variety of tax
minimizing techniques that can
increase your family’s security.
• Additionally, you can make
charitable gifts through
your will and other financial
arrangements. When you plan
a gift to one of your favorite
charitable organizations you
are not only establishing a
legacy, you are helping your
community. And, when properly
planned, you can give certain
assets to charity which will help
reduce taxes for your heirs.
An estate plan is comprised of
several elements that you might
consider working with a trusted
advisor or attorney to establish.
You should:
• Develop a will
(a legal
document in which a person
states who should receive his
Estate Planning
Why It Should Matter To You
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