5 ESTATE PLANNING HACKS 

THAT DON'T REQUIRE A LAWYER

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1
Put all of your account information in one place (such as a folder).


This makes sure they are easy
for loved ones to find.

2
Check ALL of your accounts to see if you can add your loved ones as a beneficiary when you die. 

Don’t leave any beneficiary sections blank. If left blank, the account will have to go through probate and may not be distributed the way you want. Also, be sure to name contingent beneficiaries. These backup beneficiaries are critical if your first-choice beneficiary dies before you are able to update beneficiary designation. 

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3
Check your state's law to see what happens if you die without a will (a.k.a. intestate). 

If the State's plan works for you then you don't need to change anything (but keep in mind that your family will have to go through the court process to enforce the State's plan to get your money.

4
Speak with your loved ones about your end of life wishes. 

Don't leave your loved ones guessing as to how you want to be cared for if you are on life support, or whether you want to be buried or cremated. 
Having the conversation, as awkward as it may be, can help provide crucial guidance when your loved ones need it.

 

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5
Consider giving out gifts during your lifetime.

As of 2020, the IRS allows you to make a gift of up to $15,000 per person, each year. Speak with an accountant to see if you could benefit from these tax-free gifts.