Chapter 17. Planning Beyond Your Lifetime

Developing a well-designed investment policy statement is a necessary condition for successful financial planning. Besides addressing risk management issues, the overall financial plan should also integrate estate planning. We will briefly address this issue.

Estate Planning

Although not directly related to investing, estate planning is a key step in the overall planning process. Unfortunately, most people spend more time planning their next vacation than planning their estate. This isn't surprising, since vacations have near-term benefits and are more enjoyable to look forward to than our own demise. However, an estate plan is a critical step both to make sure your intentions are carried out after you are gone and to make tying up your affairs less stressful for your heirs.

An estate plan is important no matter your net worth. When putting it together, be mindful of federal and state laws governing estate issues. The first step is taking stock of your investments and insurance policies and deciding who you want to inherit different parts of your estate. The next step is drafting a will. If your affairs are complex, an estate-planning attorney would be a worthwhile investment. Working with your accountant and investment adviser, the attorney can help guide you through many other issues arising in the estate-planning process, including items such as the use of a trust, durable powers of attorney, estate taxes, and charitable giving. Also, discussing ...

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