Estate Planning

With over 20 years of experience, Scott Storick customizes
and designs plans for high net worth individual’s estate.
It’s never to early to start your estate planning once you’re already established.

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Stage 1

Life Insurance

Ask yourself three questions: are you married? Do you have children or other dependents? Are you planning on marriage or children in the near future? If any of those have a “yes” answer, you should have a life insurance policy of some sort.
Life insurance really isn’t a complicated game. Universal Life Insurance provides both flexibility and financial advantages. People who start out with a term life insurance policy sometimes upgrade it to Universal Life Insurance because of the advantages. Unlike other permanent types of life insurance, universal life insurance lets you adjust the benefit amount up or down without having to get a new policy. Universal life insurance may be a good choice if you need financial protection for a long period of time. Generally speaking, Universal Life Insurance is considered an affordable way to secure a lifetime of coverage.

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Stage 2

Make your Will

A will is basically a simple document stating what you want to happen to your property in the event of your passing, legally binding document specifying what will happen to your property and who will take care of your minor children when you die.
Your property includes your home and any other real estate, along with your car, bank accounts, stocks, certain investments, and smaller items such as furnishings, jewelry, pets, and anything else of monetary or emotional value. A will can be simple or complex. Among other things, you can leave everything to your children or divide your property up between different family members or friends. You can list property items individually and specify who gets them, or simply transfer your estate as a whole.

Stage 3 – Get a Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney that enables a trusted person to handle your affairs if you become mentally incapable requires a durable power of attorney. The core power of attorney gives someone the authority to act on your behalf and has three variations: General Power of Attorney, Limited Power of Attorney, and Medical Power of Attorney. The word “durable” attached to any of them means that the assigned power of attorney continues to be effective even if you become mentally incompetent.

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Stage 4 – Get a Living Will

A living will – also known as an advance directive – is a legal document that specifies the type of medical care that an individual does or does not want in the event he or she is unable to communicate his or her wishes.
In the case of an unconscious person who suffers from a terminal illness or a life-threatening injury, doctors and hospitals consult his or her living will to determine whether or not the patient wants life-sustaining treatment, such as assisted breathing or tube feeding. In the absence of a living will, decisions about medical care become the responsibility of the spouse, family members or other third parties. These individuals may be unaware of the patient’s desires, or they may not wish to follow the patient’s unwritten, verbal directives.

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Asset Protection & Investment Allocations

Stage 5

Get Master Document for Your Survivors

This is a document explaining all of your assets and debts and everything that needs to be done to close them out and get the assets in your accounts to the people that should have them.
It’s a great thing to have – I know from experience that such documents can be an enormous help to a family burdened with grief. Take the time to prepare such a document and make sure the important people in your life have a copy.

Stage 6

Living Trust

Many financial advisors speak lovingly about setting up a living trust in order to help with the process of transferring an estate after you pass on. These can be very effective because they allow you to avoid the court system and have your estate directly transferred to your beneficiaries upon your passing without the costs and waiting required with probate, but there are some costs – mostly legal fees – in setting one up.
Basically, if you don’t have children or you don’t have any significant assets (a net worth of less than several hundred thousand or so), a living trust probably isn’t worth the effort. However, if you do have children, particularly adult children that you wish to transfer your assets to when you pass on, you should definitely think about making a living trust.

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One Last Important Thing!

Write a few letters. Write one to your wife telling her how much you love her. Write one to your husband telling him that you loved him every day of your life. Write one to your kids telling them how much they mean to you every day. These things will mean so much when you pass away and they can no longer hear your voice – they all likely love you more than you think they do. Then take the time and get these things done.

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About ScottRowlandStorick
Scott Storick is a Florida-based broker who specializes in retirement plans for the Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade, and Boca Raton communities.

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