3 Estate Planning Mistakes to Try and Avoid if you Live in Iowa

From health care, quality of life, education to fiscal stability, opportunity, and economy: Iowa has consistently been ranked one of the best states to live in America. But when it comes to Estate planning, many Iowans are falling behind. Here’s why you need to start thinking about what you’d like to do to protect your beneficiaries when you’re no longer around.

Maybe it’s our humble nature, modest living, or reluctance to prepare for the end of life; but many Iowans (and Americans in general) aren’t being proactive in estate management. In fact, a survey from Caring.com, found that only 4 in 10 American adults have a will or living trust. The topic can seem morose, depressing — maybe even a little scary. But it’s also a critical aspect of managing your assets and looking out for your family, which is why it’s surprising that nearly 6 out of 10 Americans are unprepared for the inevitable.

Estate plans, contrary to popular belief, are not only for the rich and the famous. If you have money in your bank account, a car or other vehicle, a home, or at least one thing of value, you can benefit from having an estate plan in place. Not only can it support the value of the estate you’ll pass on to your beneficiaries, estate planning gives you the opportunity to make decisions based on data that concerns how your assets should be handled while you are still alive and able to put your family in the best place to overtake an estate.

Not Having Enough Life Insurance

Of course we all hope to live a very long and healthy life to enjoy our family and friends for as long as possible. Unfortunately we can’t plan on that or expect this to be the outcome for everyone. Worst case scenario, you pass at a young age with a low amount of/no life insurance plan and your spouse and children attempt to make ends meet. What’s most important is that you or your family is not left economically worse off in an unexpected scenario. 

Another potential scenario going along with this topic is the chance of unexpected or long term disability, which can often have a much higher significance and consequence on your personal and financial affairs. Who will handle your finances, be named to raise your children, who will be in charge of healthcare and many other critical decisions on your behalf are very important. Therefore we recommend that you hire help you trust to work on your behalf, especially if you’re unable to do so for yourself.

Not Meeting with an Experienced Professional. 

The lack of an estate planning advisor can be detrimental to your progress with estate planning. We recommend meeting with a financial planner that is highly experienced in estate planning.

Without doing so could be one of the most common mistakes a person could make, especially if you have complicated assets or if you’re unsure in your own ability to draft an estate plan. Tax-planning strategies, insurance planning and other estate planning duties are all things an experienced fiduciary can assist you with or provide for you based on the customized personal needs and demands of your estate.

Not Having an Estate Plan at All. 

By far the most unfortunate common estate planning mistake for Iowans is not having an estate plan at all. One thing that’s unfortunately inevitable is that no one can escape death. However, thoughtful and careful planning for what may occur after your death is one of the most important things you can do to help ensure your personal and financial affairs will be handled properly when the inevitable circumstances occur.

Effective estate planning can help you to manage your affairs during your lifetime and control the distribution of your wealth after death. An effective estate strategy can spell out your healthcare wishes and help ensure that they’re carried out – even if you are unable to communicate. It can even designate someone to manage your financial affairs should you be unable to do so.

Final thoughts

We understand planning for these types of circumstances and events are not ideal and somewhat difficult to discuss, however careful planning is imperative to successful estate planning.

It’s highly important that you have all bases covered in case the inevitable comes and impacts you sooner than expected. Need estate planning assistance? Reach out the experienced estate planning advisors today at Johnson Wealth and Income Management to help ensure that you are set up for financial success.

Contact us here today to get started.


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