by Kaitlyn Ranze
How One Money Tracking App can Help You Transfer the Wealth You’ve Grown with Estate Planning
Legacy planning is a financial strategy that prepares people to pass their assets to a loved one. Leaving behind an inheritance to your descendants constitutes generational wealth. Your strategy for creating generational wealth is derived from your ability to implement a plan where your loved ones lose as little as possible in the transfer of wealth.
Even if you’re on the path to building wealth – paying down debt, buying your first home, joining the company’s retirement plan – there are some basics to consider for the long term. It’s why we built an interactive checklist in the Nav.it money app. So, let’s review the legacy health checklist’s basics and discuss why it matters.
Do you have health insurance?
Accidents and illnesses happen no matter what age you are or how healthy you’ve been. Good health insurance policies can prevent catastrophic financial outcomes, so taking a moment to understand the basics of a policy will empower your healthcare coverage decisions.
The basics: Your health insurance is a contract of benefits requiring your insurance company to pay some or all of your healthcare costs in exchange for a premium. In employer-based health plans, this premium is often paid in part by your employer, with the remaining portion deducted from your paycheck.
You’ve seen the GoFundMe’s to help someone’s loved one pay for the cost of healthcare. This could be because they don’t have insurance, or their plan may not cover the entire cost of care. Know the terms of your coverage to maximize those benefits.
Do you have life insurance?
Having life insurance gives your family options. Life insurance provides financial benefits to repay debt or cover housing and living expenses if someone passes away. Many families have little to no assets to offset the loss of an income. In fact, our friend Angelica wrote about it.
Real talk: can you afford to pay all of the household bills if one or more of the contributors permanently loses their income? As CFP Nikki Dunn of She Talks Finance points out, “You don’t want your loved ones or their guardians to not have the resources to take care of themselves.”
Why else is life insurance valuable?
The National Funeral Directors Association puts the median cost of a funeral at $8,755. Cremation costs a median of $6,260. Loss sucks, and grieving hurts, but grieving while scrambling to cover the costs of burying a loved one is even worse. Many are resorting to crowdfunding, such as GoFundMe accounts, to cover the costs of laying their loved ones to rest.
Where can you get life insurance?
Bestow breaks down basic coverage questions in a 100% online process.
Do you have disability insurance?
Disability income insurance is the most overlooked area of personal finance. How will you pay your bills if you are sick or injured and unable to work? Your medical insurance will pay for your medical care, but how will you buy groceries or pay the mortgage? In these scenarios, disability income insurance replaces your income.
How can you get coverage?
If you work for a large company with great benefits, you may have some long-term disability income insurance. Talk with your human resources department.
Companies like Aflac offer plans to individuals if your company doesn’t cover you.
Do you have home insurance?
Find the interactive Legacy Health Check in the Nav.it money app.
Homeownership has long been viewed as a foundation for wealth building. Often dwarfing savings and investments, the equity in the American home is the single largest asset on most Americans’ balance sheets.
Understanding Homeowners Insurance:
The primary goal of paying a premium for home insurance is to help you recover financially in case of damage or loss. It doesn’t matter how big your nest egg is; wiping it out to repair the damage from a fallen tree, earthquake, or fire could significantly impact your financial outlook.
The mortgage company probably requires homeowners insurance, but it’s not a bad idea for risk mitigation.
The verdict on homeowners insurance?
Worth it, but there are ways to save. Compare rates for homeowners insurance with Young Alfred.
Do you have a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (or POA) document allows another person to manage your money and or care for your children in the event you’re unable to. Anyone who wants to permit another person to perform certain legal acts on their behalf needs a POA.
While recovering from Covid, you need a POA to access the funds and pay on account. Legally you can’t access an account without one.
Do you have a will?
When you die, a will is the legal document that dictates what happens with what you own. I.e., it dictates the distribution of your assets. If you die without a will, state law governs what happens to all the wealth you’ve been building. This document is especially critical if you have kids because courts may determine who gains custody of your kids.
True story here: my dad, who died during my senior year of high school, inherited a watch from his dad. While the state decided on the major assets like the house, the heirloom sat in a safety deposit box for years. None of my siblings could wear the watch because we fought over it.
Do your loved ones a favor and help them avoid a conflict. From your investments to heirlooms, spell it all out with an online service like Trust and Will.
Do you have an advanced healthcare directive?
Often called a living will, an advanced directive advises everyone what you’d like done in case you cannot decide for yourself.
Why is this important to your legacy?
Advanced directives guide loved ones in making medical decisions on your behalf. The controversy from Terri Schiavo is a perfect example of why these matter. In 1990, Terri Schiavo suffered a massive heart attack and fell into a persistent vegetative state. Eight years later, her husband and legal guardian argued that Terri would not have wanted prolonged artificial life support without the prospect of recovery. He elected to remove Terri’s feeding tube in 1998. Because Schiavo’s parents disputed their daughter’s desires and diagnosis, the tube wasn’t removed until 2005. Avoid a dispute and make your wishes known in advance.
Are you still not convinced? Take it from someone who knows the importance of a plan.
Olympian Maggie Steffens understands the importance of preparation. “Nav.it has helped me understand that I can prepare for my future just as I do in my sport,” she explains.
“Confidence comes from preparation. With the Legacy Health Check, I can be more confident in my habits, routines, and what I have set up for myself in the different ‘buckets’ of my life. Especially as a homeowner, it is important to check in on the business of ‘me’ and how I can best navigate my financial legacy.”
While growing wealth, ensure you can transfer it from one generation to the next without unnecessary complications. If you can leave behind an inheritance, that constitutes a need to plan ahead. Head to the Nav.it money app and take your legacy health check to get started.
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