Tom Meaglia, ChFC®

Chartered Financial Consultant


Investment Advisor Representative

CA Insurance Lic. #0567507

Meaglia Financial Consulting

2105 Foothill Blvd., #B140, La Verne, CA 91750

Toll Free: 800-386-3700

Bus: 909-593-6105

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November/December 2019

Filling in the Cracks

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If you think of estate planning as something that is necessary for only the very wealthy, it might surprise you to learn differently. From keeping an updated will to having healthcare and legal powers of attorney, estate planning is so much more. And with so much paperwork involved to ensure your loved ones inherit what you intend, it’s easy to miss a crack or two that can create an estate planning nightmare.

Whether you’re creating your first estate plan or updating an existing one –with the help of an estate planning attorney – there are some missteps you can avoid when you know what to look for. Here are a few tips:

An estate plan may include tax-saving strategies, but its basic intent is to govern how your assets are distributed when you’re gone. Many estate plans and wills go the Even-Steven route, simply stating that heirs receive the exact same percentage of assets. That works when you’re distributing cash. It doesn’t if you have to split Grandma’s brooch or Grandpa’s handmade chess set three ways.

There are two ways you might distribute the assets that can’t be split, and both begin with conversations with heirs to learn what is meaningful to whom. Once determined, you might distribute these assets while alive. Or you can add specific language to your will to ensure everyone gets their assets intact.

Match Assets
You don’t need a will to distribute life insurance policy proceeds, IRAs and other retirement accounts because they already have – or should have – beneficiaries designated. Another reason to not include this information in a will is the public glare of probate. If you must include this information in your will or estate plan, take extra care to make sure beneficiaries and assets line up.

Review Regularly
Whether dealing with beneficiary-linked or will-directed inheritances, make it a practice to review your designations and will at least annually. Divorces, remarriages, blended families, new family members and family deaths can create the need to redo beneficiary designations and change the terms of a will or estate plan.

Talk to an attorney to learn more and to a financial professional to learn how life insurance can work in estate planning situations.


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Investment advisory services offered through Fusion Capital Management, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. 9111 Cypress Waters Blvd., Ste 140, Dallas, TX 75019.
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