Every estate plan is unique because of a particular family's circumstances. Still, most people share many primary objectives that may be reflected in five documents often found at the core of a plan.
If your current estate plan doesn't include these five items, you might need to fill the gaps. And if you don't yet have a comprehensive estate plan in place, it's probably time to make that a priority. Mortality can sneak up on anyone.
You know how important it is to plan for your retirement, but where do you begin? One of your first steps should be to estimate how much income you'll need to fund your retirement. That's not as easy as it sounds, because retirement planning is not an exact science. Your specific needs depend on your goals and many other factors.
Use your current income as a starting point
When you determine how much income you'll need in retirement, you may base your projection on the type of lifestyle you plan to have and when you want to retire. However, as you grow closer to retirement, you may discover that your income won't be enough to meet your needs. If you find yourself in this situation, you'll need to adopt a plan to bridge this projected income gap.
Delay retirement: 65 is just a number
Now that comprehensive health-care reform has been signed into law, how will it affect you? While some portions of the law become effective in 2010, other provisions are phased in over time. Nevertheless, it is almost certain that at least some of these reforms will have an effect on you and your family.
How will health coverage change?
Whether you're seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Their power is in their versatility--many types of trusts exist, each designed for a specific purpose. Although trust law is complex and establishing a trust requires the services of an experienced attorney, mastering the basics isn't hard.
You may have heard that the health-care reform legislation passed in 2010 requires all employers to provide health insurance to their employees. That is not the case. But the law does try to encourage employers to offer health insurance by imposing penalties on larger employers that don't offer affordable health insurance coverage, and by offering incentives in the form of tax credits to smaller employers who do provide their workers with affordable health-care coverage.