Estate Planning

Mofoluke Keshinro, TEP

It’s the last month of the year and a lot of us are already taking stock of things we had planned to do for the year while some of us are already acting on items on our list for the year that we haven’t actioned before now.

Note that there is still time before the end of the year to take major steps especially as it relates to your estate planning goals.

Outlined below are some key considerations to guide on achieving your estate planning goals before the year ends.

Do You Have an Estate Plan?

Yes, you have procrastinated on speaking with an estate planning expert to craft a suitable estate plan for you and it is December already but you have not done anything regarding this. You might want ask yourself the reason for not achieving this goal: is it fear of the inevitable? Is it that you’re unsure of how to distribute your assets? Is it uncertainty on the choice of your Executor or the choice of a suitable guardian for your minors?

If any of the above is a concern to you, do not delay any further, reach to ARM Trustees Limited, we are ready to assist you in achieving this objective in a timely manner to ensure you tick this off your list before the year ends.

Have You Updated Your Plan?

For some of us, we have existing estate plans however our status has changed and there’s a need to update the plan however this is yet to be done.

For those that are about to retire, there’s a need to review the existing estate plan because the retirement plan in the estate plan might no longer be adequate due to economic situation, some portfolios in the estate might not be proportionately spread between short, medium and long terms goals/needs, possibly the investments are long tenured, and they will not meet the needs of a young family that has short terms requests for welfare/lifestyle needs. So, there’s a need to sit with your financial planner and estate planner to adjust the plan as may be necessary. This can be done before the year ends.

Do You Have Life Insurance?

Life Insurance is a tool of estate planning, it helps individuals who do not want their families financially crushed while going through a bereavement undertake a life insurance policy. With a life Insurance, the claim payable upon the death of the insured goes to the named beneficiary in the policy document. Subject to the value of the cover on the life of the insured, the claim sum can be sufficient to handle the financial well-being of your loved ones even in the absence of the breadwinner. That’s why it is recommended that the sum assured should be significant to be able to give complete financial protection such that the family can continue their lives without suffering major change in income upon the passing of the breadwinner, they have the ability to settle debts (if any), go to School, maintain their lifestyle while having adequate financial leverage. You can undertake a life Insurance before the year ends.

If you have an existing life insurance, we recommend you review the sum assured due to the current economic situation in the country, to ensure the claims to be paid by the insurance company will meet the financial obligations of your family if eventuality happens now.

Have You Reviewed Your Named Executors/Trustees/Beneficiaries?

If you named natural persons as your Executor and/or Trustee in your Will, are the executors still alive? Did you give gifts to persons who might have passed on? Is your named guardian in the Will still alive? Or has the lifestyle of the guardian changed that you wish to change to a more suitable person? Do you have anyone with special needs that would need special care and extra financial planning in the family that wasn’t there at the beginning of the year?

Would you wish to set up a separate estate plan for your young children? Possibly, a Living Trust to cater to their educational, welfare and medical needs.

The above validates the need for a review of your estate plan before the year ends.

Inform Your Family About Your Estate Plan

It is recommended that your family know who to approach when eventuality happens hence the need to inform them of structures you’ve put in place to ensure they do not suffer when you are no longer in the picture. Informing them that you’ve created an Estate Plan and the name of your Estate Planning Advisor will guide them in times of emergencies.

We recommend you inform your family on the important values you wish they would adopt and perpetuate in your honour.

You might want to draw up a power of attorney that enables the person you donate the powers to, to take decisions on your behalf when you are unable to. The decisions can be financial, general and/or medical.

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