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Your Financial "Spring Cleaning"
By David Miller
It’s spring, the traditional time for brushing off the cobwebs and cleaning the winter grime. Spring cleaning also should extend to your financial house. In this and future issues of Insurable Interests, we will look at three major concerns: protecting, accumulating and distributing your assets.
Asset protection is more than buying insurance to cover your home, car and collectibles. It’s about making sure that your assets are properly protected. To do so involves assessing your exposures, and risks, then starting with poignant questions that may be difficult to consider:
If there was a legal liability action (lawsuit) would your umbrella liability policy limit take into account your current net worth, as well as significant changes in your net worth that are likely to occur in the foreseeable future? Does the liability limit also factor in your lifestyle, including activities (e.g., piloting a plane or speed boat) and possessions (e.g. swimming pool, all-terrain vehicle) that might increase your exposures and/or risk?
What would happen if you died prematurely? Having the appropriate amount and properly structured life insurance program can help ensure that your family would have sufficient assets to live comfortably, if your potential earning years were cut short.
What if you were injured and could not earn income for an extended period, or ever again? Even if you have disability or income replacement coverage through your employer, are you certain of the details, i.e. how much does it pay, for how long, and are the benefits income tax free?
If you died suddenly, would your assets be distributed according to your wishes, and in an efficient tax-free manner? Estate planning (including a properly drafted will) can help preserve the legacy you desire to provide to your family, friends and philanthropic interests.
What impact would serious illness or death have on your charitable and philanthropic goals? Charitable planning can help you continue to provide for the causes that are important to you. For example, you could include a charity as the beneficiary of part of your retirement plan or life insurance program.
These kinds of questions are often challenging. However, failing to answer and address them can be problematic on many levels. If you plan thoroughly you can be confident that you have taken care of those who depend on you and for whom you care so deeply.
The Bensman Group has a team of experts who will work with you to regularly evaluate your goals and objectives, and to implement unique solutions with your advisory team. Please contact me, or any member of The Bensman Group team, at 847-572-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help you "protect" your most valuable assets.
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