Financial Focus: The importance of estate planning

2:46 PM, Oct 09, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS – Whether you’re young or old the time to start planning your estate is now.

For many of us, it’s something we neglect to take care of. As our partner at Carlson Financial said, putting this off could result in a big headache for your loved ones.

Carl Carlson, CEO of Carlson Financial, said, “They’re going to have to be dealing with your loss so let’s not throw a lot of other stuff on them too. Just get it done.”

It’s something no one wants to talk about, but making plans for your death or a life-changing accident is essential for you and your family.

“You just never know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, so use that boy scout motto and be prepared.”

If you don’t, your family may have to go through probate, a legal process which can be lengthy and costly.

“It’s really for everybody. Everyone should do estate planning for end of life decisions.”

Carlson said it will come in handy for a lot of different situations.

“Who am I going to name if I have children under the age of 21? Who am I going to name as the guardian? Who’s going to take care of them…if you have money in IRA’s or a 401(k) how can someone get some money out of there to help pay the bills while you’re having problems…funeral arrangements, if you’re on life support what do you want to happen? Do you need to have different power of attorneys for finance and health care?”

And of course, who who will you leave your money to? Starting the estate planning process, Carlson said, is different for each individual.

“Depending on how much money you have, if you have quite a bit and lot of assets and real estate…I would definitely go see an attorney that specializes in wills and trusts.”

However, if you’re young and just starting out on your own Carlson said, “Just Google wills or estate documents and it’ll take you to different websites that you can go to.”

No matter what route you go Carlson recommends making a plan sooner rather than later. He also suggests updating your estate plans regularly and having a family meeting once a year to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Carlson Financial is a sponsor of Financial Focus.

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