Estate Planning

Greetings all,

We hope you enjoyed a great holiday weekend with your family and friends. The summers are invariably a slower time here at Bona Fide Finance where we take some time away to rest and recharge. Taking this time out in the summer allows us to focus on our ‘why’ for doing the work we do; our families and taking care of the people we love. One of the most important aspects of taking care of loved ones is having a sound estate plan. This is one of the things that is most often put off by clients. It’s simple, no one wants to think about end-of-life planning, much less go through the nitty-gritty details of setting everything up. In this newsletter, we’d like to provide you with some resources and insights to assist you in making sure your loved ones are taken care of in case of the unexpected.

Read – 
Not so much reading as a good resource for getting yourself organized, Mass Mutual provides some useful guides for making sure your ducks are in a row. This PDF guide outlines the different steps you’ll need to take in case of a death of a loved one. Things are organized according to a timeline and key documents that might be needed are listed. There is also a nice Estate Plan Inventory Guide that helps you make sure everything is organized. In our relationship as your financial planner, we can provide assistance in completing these steps and making sure that you’ve shared this information with your loved ones. 

Listen – 
If you are interested in a deeper dive around topics of end-of-life planning, we recommend listening to the Complete Estate Planning podcast. This is a great podcast that is well-produced and currently active, diving into all topics around estate planning and trusts (which can plan a crucial role in estate planning). Episodes are generally 20 to 30 minutes long and straightforward in their presentation so you can get the info you need without suffering through too much fluff. Some interesting episodes include, ‘Student Loans After Your Die’ and ‘When Should I Give My Children Their Money?’.

Watch – 
An important concept to understand when thinking about the estate planning process is ‘probate’. This is a legal term referring to the presenting of the last will and testament to a court for its administration and disbursal. Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, you may need legal help in this step and it can take anywhere from a couple of months to years. If going through probate after the loss of a loved one is something you’d like to spare your family from, you may want to look into steps to avoid probate. There are a number of strategies that you can take, some as simple as titling assets in the name of a loved one and others that are more complete like setting up a trust, to pass items outside of probate. Most people agree that taking the time and energy to avoid probate is well worth the upfront trouble. If you’d like to learn more about the probate process and why you may want to avoid it, check out this video from Rabalais Estate Planning.
We hope you’ve found the above information helpful. Estate planning is an incredibly important aspect of any holistic financial plan. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about your own estate plan.


The Bona Fide Family

Resources for Comprehensive Financial Planning

Bona Fide Finance has exciting news to share this month! We now have a resource page available to use as a reference as needed. It’s creatively called the Resources page (original, I know!); we have numerous links to all the major subjects of personal finance. Within each subcategory you will find a number of links to other blogs, articles, websites, books, interviews, etc., all with the aim to help you be as informed as possible regarding these topics. Take a gander when you have a moment; we hope you are able to put it to good use. Enjoy!

  • Investments: Mutual funds, asset allocation, fixed income instruments, annuities, socially responsible investing, trivia
  • Taxes: Payroll tools, online tax preparation, 1031 exchanges, state tax rates
  • Budgeting: Software, debt management, managing money, saving and spending, credit cards, financial spreadsheets
  • Student Loans
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Insurance: Life, disability, health, auto, long term care, home, umbrella liability, trip, pet
  • Estate Planning: Trusts, executor, legal documents, ethical will, digital lockbox
  • Home Ownership: Mortgages, insurance, determining your home’s basis, reverse mortgages, homestead exemption
  • Car Buying
  • Retirement: Early retirement, retirement accounts and contributions, retirement calculators, social security
  • Lifestyle Design
  • Financial Independence

If you find the information provided valuable, please pass this email along to your family and friends! Better yet, recommend them to subscribe to this monthly newsletter by signing up on our website!

Planning one’s estate is an important component of your financial outlook; however, most avoid acting on this aspect to the detriment of their loved ones after their death. Check out these three resources so that you can get your estate documents created:

  • Read: It’s natural to put off estate planning. After all, no one wants to anticipate his or her own death. You also may think that only the wealthy require estate planning. Not so! Read this brief article on Understanding the Estate Planning Process to see why everyone should get these tasks accomplished.
  • Listen: This podcast with Joshua Sheats is a simple overview of the major estate planning documents: a will, a living will, a medical power of attorney, and a durable power of attorney. See what they mean and why they’re important. Note that this is not a technical deep-dive into these documents; it is a light and friendly overview.
  • Watch: In this interview with an estate planning attorney, you will be introduced to ten common estate planning mistakes to avoid based on her experience with clients.

Services SpotlightEverplans is a secure, digital archive of everything your loved ones will need should something happen to you. They offer secure sharing of your information, expert guidance and resources, a custom fit for your situation, and security you can rely on. Everplans contain wills, trusts, and insurance policies; important accounts and passwords; health and medical information; advance directives and DNRs; final wishes and funeral preferences; and more. All new users receive a free 30-day trial; annual subscription is $75.

If you find the information provided valuable, please pass this email along to your family and friends! Better yet, recommend them to subscribe to this monthly newsletter by signing up on our website!

You can click on the links below to access this month’s resources. Thanks for reading, listening, and watching!