Top Ways to Take Care of Family Business

April, 2008.

  1. Write a Will. Through a Will you can name your executor, streamline probate proceedings, name children’s guardians, and make your financial wishes known.
  2. Create and fund a trust. Trusts can save your family money upon your death by avoiding probate (a lengthy and expensive court proceeding) and taking advantage of estate tax savings. Trusts also provide flexible, long-term asset management.
  3. Name guardians. Put your guardianship choices in your will and in a separate guardianship form. Write a mission statement giving guidance for raising your children.
  4. Make health care decisions. Determine your wishes if you are on life-support. Sign a living will and a power of attorney for health care stating your wishes. Sign a HIPAA authorization allowing doctors talk to your family.
  5. Appoint a financial agent. If you become incapacitated, would your family need to go to court to pay your electricity bill? Sign a financial power of attorney to alter this result.
  6. Review your financial assets and life insurance coverage. Are your beneficiary provisions current? Are your assets with old employers? Review these assets to ensure they are up to date. Will your life insurance increase your estate taxes?