Giving You Money Away when You Die: 10 Questions to AskYou

Richard Ropelewski |
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Haven't given much thought to estate planning and charitable giving? Here are 10 questions to jumpstart your thinking:

1. Can you afford to give away money now? You shouldn't gift large sums to your children or charity unless you're confident you have enough for your own retirement. There's no limit on gifts to charity, though your annual tax deduction may be capped. For gifts to family members, you might take advantage of the annual gift-tax exclusion, currently $14,000.

2. Do you have the right beneficiaries listed on your retirement accounts and life insurance? Your individual retirement account and employer's retirement plan might hold the bulk of your savings, so it's crucial these accounts pass to the right folks.

3. At the end of your life, who do you want to make medical decisions on your behalf and how far would you like doctors to go in attempting to prolong your life? You should codify these wishes in a health care power of attorney and living will.

4. Do you have a will? According to a 2016 Gallup survey, just 44% of U.S. adults have one.

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The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.

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