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It’s Time to PLAN for Your Estate

Posted on May 4, 2021
plan

The past year has taught us to not just expect the unexpected but to plan for it, and estate planning is something every adult needs to think about. Your estate is comprised of everything you own and, no matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate. Knowing you have a properly prepared PLAN in place to provide for your family, protect your assets, and take control of your legacy will give you peace of mind.

People. Two of the main components of an estate plan are naming an executor to handle administration of your estate and designating the heirs for your assets. For most people, the security and protection of their loved ones is their primary concern. Your will should identify the people that you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and even when they are to receive it.

Legacy. If charitable giving is important to you, your estate plan can help to make it part of the legacy you leave behind. Incorporating philanthropy into your plans can be as simple as including bequest language in your will or creating a codicil that describes the gift you want to leave to a qualified charity, like Drexel University. Alternately, you may choose to name Drexel as a beneficiary of a retirement account (and leave other, less-taxed assets to your loved ones).

Assets. Take an inventory of what you own and estimate the value. Once you start looking around, you may be surprised by all the assets you have. Tangible assets in an estate can include real property (homes, land or other real estate), vehicles (cars, motorcycles or boats), and collectibles (coins, art or antiques). Intangible assets can include checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, life insurance policies or retirement accounts. 

Now. Now is a good time to organize your important papers. Would your family know where to find your financial records, titles, and insurance policies if something happened to you?  Review your financial documents and ensure that there is an up-to-date list of every financial account you have and the basic information for your bank accounts, loans, credit card accounts, insurance policies and pensions. Include the location for your household and family documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, vehicle titles and property deeds and keep them in a place that will be accessible to your family.

Individual circumstances are unique. As always, we recommend that you consult an attorney or estate tax professional to help determine if you’re on the proper estate planning path.  

Questions? Contact David Toll, Senior Associate Vice President for Gift Planning, at 215.895.1882 or giftplanning@drexel.edu.

Posted in Wills and Trusts

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