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  • JaclynFelderStrauss

    By Jaclyn Felder-Strauss, Full-Time Faculty School of Business 
    Published March 2014

    There are many topics in financial planning that are worthy of discussion; however, one that we may find a bit uncomfortable speaking of and planning for is the end of life. Financial planning around the end of life is imperative as it can leave our survivors prepared to handle our estate in the most effective and efficient way possible. When many hear the word “estate,” the wealthy come to mind; however, this is not necessarily the case. Financial planning applies to those who have millions in the bank or just one dollar to their name.

    What to plan for? 

    According to the AICPA,* there are many aspects of end-of-life financial planning, including planning for your advanced directives, planning for the care and guardianship of your dependents, planning for your property and assets –(i.e., titles on property and insurance benefits), and planning for the preservation of the overall value of your estate.

    What are the financial needs? 

    The end of life does bring some cost as well, especially if there were medical costs leading up to your death. You can plan in advance to ensure that your family is not burdened with these expenses after your passing by moving assets to cover costs. There is also planning for funeral costs in advance, which is becoming more common. A funeral can be one of the largest costs to a family and should be considered in your overall financial plan. Your survivors may be entitled to government programs such as social security. Informing your survivors of any benefits before you are gone can shorten the time they may need to wait to access these benefits.

    How to plan? 

    There are many details to think about and the assistance of a CPA, a financial planner, or even an attorney can be helpful during the process. There are also tools that one can purchase to help organize the information either electronically or on paper. Regardless of the direction that one plans to take for this inevitable life event, it will serve everyone affected well and lift the potential burden off of those who survive you. 

     

    References

    *AICPA PFP Division and 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy. 2013. A Guide to Financial Decisions. online at http://www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/PersonalFinancialPlanning/Resources/ElderPlanningServices/DownloadableDocuments/hospiceguide.pdf (accessed 2013).

    Span, Paula. 2013. Help for Planning End-of-Life Care Online at http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/help-for-planning-end-of-life-care/?_r=0 (accessed January 10, 2013).

     

    Jaclyn Felder-Strauss is a full-time faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.

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