5 great tips for “peace of mind”

5 great tips for   “peace of mind”1.   Execute a will.
Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy. As adults, we all NEED an estate   plan. Your will specifies what happens to your property when you die. This is   important because your state has a default set of rules for people who do not   leave instructions.
For most Americans, an estate plan is most commonly referred to as a will or   “last will and testament”. It spells out who gets what from your   estate. A hand written will can be valid, however it’s drastically safer to   have a lawyer prepare your will and walk you thru the formal execution of it.   If you have a spouse or children, you really need a will to reduce confusion   and conflict and to make sure your loved ones are properly taken care of.

2. Designate your   health care wishes.
Who will make important medical decisions for you in the event of an accident   or illness?  Without the appropriate legal estate planning, your next of   kin will attempt to make the decisions. But does he or she know all your   wishes?
You NEED to protect your life by at least appointing a health care power of   attorney in your will. This designates the person who will legally make   decisions on your behalf.  Your power of attorney is legally bound to   make the decisions that you want, not what they think is best.
If you want to go an extra mile, you can execute a living will.  This   document was created to legally make known your wishes for different medical   situations, especially when medical care and treatment is prolonged. It can   also be referred to as an advance directive, health care directive, or a   physician’s directive. Then your health care agent will be bound to act   according to this document.  If you chose to neglect both of these   health care documents, your life could end up in the hands of someone you   don’t trust.

3. Select your beneficiaries   and be certain.
Do you have a life insurance policy or retirement plan?  Who are your   beneficiaries?  If you have not listed your beneficiaries, you and your   family could be in for a big surprise.
Life insurance and retirement plans will automatically pay the designated   beneficiary when the policy holder passes away.  To make sure your heirs   get their inheritance, you should designate each of them by name as   beneficiaries. Avoid listing your estate itself as beneficiary. If your   estate gets paid directly, your loved ones, who are your true beneficiaries,   will be in for a long wait before they can be paid and your creditors could   lay claim on your money before them. Those beneficiary blanks are very   critical.

4. Get insurance,   even if you are renting.
Property insurance is an absolute must when protecting your property and it   isn’t just for homeowners.  Even if you rent, you need insurance.    Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance primarily covers you against property loss   due to damage or theft. It can also be important if you’re ever sued.
When guests come onto your property, you legally take on a certain amount of   implied liability for their safety.  If someone is injured while on your   property, you could be held responsible, and even sued.  Fortunately,   the typical property insurance policy will reduce the liability and provide   protection for you.  Guest medical coverage can pay for your guest’s   medical bills, if included in your policy.  For the cost of a renter’s   insurance policy (at most $15/month), you simply CANNOT afford to neglect   this coverage.

5. Separate your   business.
If you run your own business, you should consider a limited liability   business entity.  Running a sole proprietorship is simpler, but it   exposes you and your family to certain risks. This same fact applies to   partnership entities as well. Creditors and even dissatisfied clients can   come after you personally, putting your personal assets, such as your home,   in jeopardy.
To alleviate this concern, you can easily setup a basic corporation or a   limited liability company (LLC). Consult with your attorney to determine   which entity is right for you. This way, when you sign contracts and incur   business debt, you are only putting the business on the line.  Once your   business is a legal entity, it’s important to run the business properly to   shield your business from liability. Without being a formal business entity,   you have no way to limiting your personal liability.

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