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Charting Futures For More Than 30 Years

3 essential estate planning tools

According to CNBC, only 18% of people age 55 and older have planned for their future with three basic estate planning tools: a will, a durable power of attorney and a health-care directive. We have helped Missouri residents create estate plans that meet their individual needs. 

When you have a will, you help direct the distribution of your assets after your death. By taking control of this important decision, you may minimize arguments among surviving family members about how to share your property and money. You can also mitigate the possibility that the legal system will make decisions for you. As you consider the allocation of your assets, you should take into account any beneficiary designations in your life insurance policies or retirement accounts. 

Your planning toolkit may also include a durable power of attorney. While a will directs the disposition of your assets at death, you may have concerns about the management of your financial interests if you become incapacitated. With a durable power of attorney, you appoint a trusted family member or adviser to handle your business and personal affairs and to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. 

An advance health-care directive, or living will, is another important tool in your estate planning kit. This document sets out your wishes for medical treatment at a time when you may be unable to make informed decisions about your health care. A living will can help make your intentions clear to family members who may be struggling to make difficult decisions about your care. 

When you have basic estate planning documents in place, you take steps toward directing how you want your wishes carried out in life and death. Please review our estate planning page to learn more.