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Insurance is a crucial part of your financial plan and a necessity when it comes to being able to help provide financially for your loved ones … but is it enough to make sure everything you care about will be adequately cared for? Enter estate planning. An estate plan provides peace of mind as well as clarity and convenience for your loved ones. It can also help ensure that the things you value most are taken into account after you’re gone. Follow this checklist to make sure your overall financial plan is in full bloom.

With the proper insurance and an estate plan working hand in hand, you’re one step closer to financial confidence.

Insurance

  • The benefit: Insurance provides financial protection for your family and gives you a deeper sense of psychological security. That’s a win-win!
  • Keep in mind: Some people don’t have the proper types (or amounts) of insurance, while others have too much. Whether it’s auto, home, disability, etc., consider the Financially Fatal RuleTM of insurance: Only insure yourself against financial falls that you or your family could not bounce back from without the insurance, such as a large unexpected medical bill. For the smaller unexpected hurdles, you can rely on your financial confidence account.

Estate planning

  • The benefit: “Estate” may seem like a fancy word that only applies to the wealthy, but if you own anything (a car, a house, a diamond ring, a first-edition Hemingway, etc.), you have an estate. Life insurance makes sure your loved ones are covered financially, and estate planning takes care of divvying up the tangible “stuff” you have accumulated—both are important and they work together to help ensure your legacy passes on as you intend. Your estate plan handles how your debts will be settled, your estate taxes paid, your possessions sold (or distributed) and your insurance proceeds allocated. Having these instructions specified in advance takes a lot of the burden off your family and/or loved ones. 
  • Keep in mind: The settlement of your estate is laid out on paper, and a capable executor (who can be a family member, lawyer or third party) is assigned to make sure your wishes are followed. The plan will help ensure that your debts, taxes and responsibilities are all taken care of, and there should be no loose ends left for your family to handle.

Challenge: Take the time to plan for your estate. This will allow you to relax in the present and ease the burden on others in the future.

Once you have the appropriate insurance and important estate documents in place, you can live confidently knowing you have taken the essential steps to prepare for whatever life brings. And remember: Thinking about life’s “what ifs” becomes easier and more comfortable the more you practice it.

3 key takeaways
  1. Insurance gives you the security and peace of mind you deserve.
  2. Properly plan for your estate now to ease the burden on others in the future.
  3. When you have the appropriate insurance and estate plan working hand in hand, you’re one step closer to financial confidence.

Challenge yourself

Once you know your financial plans and values are protected, keep reading and make sure you have the appropriate amount of coverage.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates and the directors, officers, employees and agents of SunTrust Bank and its affiliates (collectively, "SunTrust") are not permitted to give legal or tax advice. Clients of SunTrust should consult with their legal and tax advisors prior to entering into any financial transaction.

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