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Step-by-Step Legacy Planning

November 06, 2023

We are passionate about helping spouses and children through loss. While a lot of folks spend a lot of time planning for their golden years, aging and end-of-life should also be considered. It’s an inevitability, and like most things, it’s a good idea to have a blueprint laid out beforehand. I work with adult children who have lost a parent and widows who have lost a spouse. Throughout the years, I have learned that not having a plan in place can add unnecessary stress and make things very complicated between family members.

This webinar addresses 4 primary concerns:

  • How to start your legacy plan right now.
  • What to expect after a loved one's illness or incapacitation.
  • What happens with accounts after the death of a spouse or parent?
  • Important financial items to have in place just in case you lose a spouse or loved one.

1. Before Illness, Death, or an Emergency.

  • It’s not easy to think about what might happen if you or a family member becomes critically ill or dies unexpectedly. Organizing your financial and legal documents beforehand can reduce stress and increase your peace of mind when your family navigates a difficult situation.

Pro Tip: You can request a checklist of financial and legal documents to put in a Fire Safe document holder by emailing

Head to your local Walmart or Costco to purchase the safe. These documents should be prepared “In Case of Emergency," and should be easy to find. Your kids should know where these documents are kept in your home.

  • If your legal documents were done a long time ago - update them. Additionally, take time to introduce your beneficiaries to your financial advisor, CPA, Attorney, and any other professional contact. These parties will work closely together if something happens to you.
  • Sharing is caring! Do not make money a secret puzzle that your family has to solve during an emotionally stressful time. Be open with those you trust about how much money you have and where it can be found.

2. After Illness or Incapacitation.

  • You cannot do anything on behalf of anyone who is still alive without a valid "Power of Attorney" or "Power of Financial Attorney." Illness or incapacitation will typically precede death; it is better to have your POA assigned and all the documentation in place before an emergency.

3. After Death (Spouse or Non-Spouse).

  • Consult an expert. A Financial Advisor can help you determine the best strategy for your inherited accounts considering taxes and other fees. 
  • Make sure a beneficiary is listed on all of your retirement accounts. Otherwise, your account will be considered an "Estate Account" liable to go through probate court. Time and legal fees could deplete the account.
  • For non-retirement accounts, ask your Financial Advisor what the best strategy is for investments, bank accounts, and other assets.

4. After Death (Parents).

  • Watch your cash flow. You will be required to satisfy owed taxes and any remaining RMD on behalf of the parent or parents who passed away. 
  • It can be difficult to have open conversations with siblings or other beneficiaries but it is necessary. Start these conversations before your parents pass away, and make sure all of your parent's wishes are spelled out in a Will or Trust.
  • Cancel your parents' driver's license, social media accounts, or anything else that could result in identity fraud.

5. FREE Checklists.

We love checklists and have prepared three for you with more detailed information. If you would like to request them, please email Or, schedule a call with our team to go over your estate plan!

Schedule A Call With Us!