Financial Literacy for Everyone

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Estate Planning

It's hard to think about, but no one lives forever. Putting the legalities in place will make it easier for your loved ones in the event of your death. Here are a few things to consider:

Wills

A will is the first step in estate planning and should be at the top of your "to do" list. The provisions of your will determine who will inherit your property, who will become the guardian of your children, and who will wrap up your financial affairs in the event of your death.

Trusts

A trust allows you to have more control over the money you leave to someone than does your will. For example, if you leave money to a young child, it can be put into a trust and used only for education. Or the money could be disbursed to the child when he or she reaches a particular age. A trust also protects the money from creditors since it cannot be taken from the beneficiary to pay debts.

Powers of Attorney

If you are unable to make legal decisions because you are somehow incapacitated, someone will need to make these decisions for you. You need to decide who this person will be in advance. This is called giving someone power of attorney.

Living Will

A living will is a clear statement about your wishes regarding artificial life support. If your brain is dead and your body remains functioning only with the help of life support, a living will directs attendants in what choice to make for you.