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MONEY MATTERS: The importance of estate planning

Updated: Nov. 24, 2020 at 3:03 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The holidays are a time to be with family.

This year, many will gather virtually while others may gather in person with COVID-19 safety measures in mind. No matter how you plan to spend time together, being around family this time of year can remind you of how important it is to protect the ones you love both in life and death.

Josh Bradey of Capital City Financial Partners answers a few very important questions about estate planning.

Q: Why is estate planning so important?

Bradley: “We all want to know if something happens to us or if we pass away, things are going to be taken care of, the people that we love and care for will not have to go through the process of all this mess that maybe we’ve created. We want to make sure our loved ones get what we intend them to get. The other thing we encourage people to do about estate planning is about when you’re living, thinking about when you’re incapable of making decisions and who will care you before you pass away and not just what’s going to happen when you pass away.”

Q: What should be on your estate planning checklist?

Bradley: “We always encourage people, no matter what, to have a will that’s updated, a healthcare directive, power of attorney, maybe a trust if you have certain purposes for those funds. The first process is to get it done. The second is to make sure that it’s actually implemented. We’ve seen this before where an attorney does a great job or maybe you’ve done a great job preparing all your documents, however, maybe a beneficiary on one of your old accounts has not been updated ... we’ve seen ex-spouses get money, we’ve seen a lot of events with that. So double-check to make sure that you’ve actually implemented all that hard work that you went through.

Q: When should you start estate planning?

Bradley: I always hear people say, I’m too young or it’s not that big of a deal. I would encourage any type of life event should be a time to re-evaluate your estate planning documents - that could be a marriage, a divorce, passing away, kids, retirement - any type of big life event probably dictates some modifications to your estate plan.

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