Financial Planning for Women April 2005 Newsletter

April 13: Getting Ready for Estate Planning
I picked this topic long before Terri Schiavo was making headline news. If you vowed not to end up in a similar controversial situation, then this month's FPW is for you. Generally, we all need a push to begin the estate planning process. You'll get that encouragement this month.
"Getting Ready for Estate Planning" by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is a web-based resource designed to help consumers organize their thoughts and information before seeing an advisor about an estate plan. Estate planning allows you to arrange your affairs according to your wishes. You coordinate the use and distribution of your property. You decide what end of life measures you want to keep you alive or ease your death. And, you can provide for charitable gifts and bequests. The purpose of this program is to help you organize your thoughts and information before you see an advisor about an estate plan. Many people avoid estate planning because they think that the process will be overwhelming. We believe that the six steps provided here will help you get ready. They are:
  1. Initiate the discussion
  2. Take stock of the present
  3. Develop objectives
  4. Choose advisors
  5. Consider alternatives
  6. Review and modify
Available at http://www.ces.purdue.edu/estateplanning/
To prepare for this month's session, please print out the 18 worksheets and bring them with you. You are encouraged to begin filling them out prior to attending the April 13 seminar.
If you can't attend FPW this month you have access to all the resources on this web site. With the controversy of Terri Schiavo fresh in your mind, it is time to follow through on those promises to yourself to start planning for your own demise. The controversy generated by the Terri Schiavo situation makes it much easier to start talking to your loved ones about end of life planning.
You will also learn that you do not have to use an attorney to write your will, your living will (health care power of attorney) and for other estate planning. Nolo Press was founded by an attorney who believes you should not have to pay hundreds of dollars to have access to sound legal information and advice. Nolo publishes books and computer programs (written by attorneys) so you can do your own estate planning without having to use an attorney. While this avenue isn't for everyone, it is a viable option for people with simple financial affairs and family situations. Nolo Press books do a great job of telling you when you DO need to consult an attorney. They are also highly recommended reading to help you make decisions before you meet with your attorney. Go to: http://www.nolo.com/ then click on wills and estate planning.
Upcoming programs:
May (stay tuned for possible date change): Stock Mutual Funds: All you need to know including the best picks from Advanced Family Finance students. They will help teach the seminar and share with you their choices for the best stock mutual funds for long term goals.
June 8: Teaching Kids about Money
July 13: Retirement Planning
August 10: Voluntary Simplicity: Benefits and Strategies
Website of the month:
Getting Ready for Estate Planning (what else?)
http://www.ces.purdue.edu/estateplanning/
Resource of the month:
End-of-life Care Partnership (extensive information + "Utah Living Will and Personal Choice Act Forms"
http://www.carefordying.org/
The End-of-Life Care Partnership
348 East 4500 South, Suite 300
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
phone: (801) 892-6615; fax: (801) 892-0160
Books of the month:
Quick and Legal Will Book (Nolo Press, $14)
"If you want to create a will with the least amount of time and trouble, Quick & Legal Will Book is for you. It provides fill-in-the-blank forms and step-by-step instructions to make a basic will that meets your needs. In just a few minutes, you can:
* create a will that distributes your property as you wish
* choose a guardian to care for your children
* set up a trust for property left to children
* name an executor (personal representative)
* sign your will and have it witnessed"
Plan Your Estate (Nolo Press, $37)
"The most comprehensive -- yet easy to read -- guide to estate planning on the market!
Plan Your Estate covers everything from the basics of wills and living trusts to sophisticated tax-saving strategies. The authors give you straightforward, plain-English explanations of every significant estate-planning option available, so you can make the best decisions for you and those you love. The book covers:
* federal estate and gift taxes
* trusts used to control property left to beneficiaries
* charitable remainder trusts
* durable powers of attorney
* living wills
* funerals and burials"
USU Extension publications:
Estate Planning Basics: Getting Started. http://www.extension.usu.edu/publica/fampubs/ff16.pdf
Estate Planning Basics: Wills. http://www.extension.usu.edu/publica/fampubs/ff17.pdf
Estate Planning Basics: Revocable Living Trusts. http://www.extension.usu.edu/publica/fampubs/ff18.pdf
Estate Planning Basics: Letter of Last Instructions. http://www.extension.usu.edu/publica/fampubs/ff19.pdf
Estate Planning Basics: A Vocabulary. http://extension.usu.edu/files/fampubs/ff20.pdf
Preplanning a Funeral. http://www.extension.usu.edu/publica/fampubs/ff09.pdf
Estate Planning: Your Will. http://extension.usu.edu/files/fampubs/finan03.pdf
The Marriage Season Approaches! Are you or someone you know getting married? Here is a great publication for the engaged couple from USU Extension: Debt brought into marriage: The anti-dowry. Available at: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/FL2003-03.pdf
The USU Family Life Center, 797-7224, 493 N 700 East (bottom of Old Main Hill), provides free financial counseling and occasional workshops. This is the best source for basic money management and getting out of debt. They offer the PowerPay computer debt analysis for free.
Financial Planning for Women (FPW) is a monthly educational seminar that meets the second Wednesday of each month at two times: 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 318 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7-8:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 493 North 700 East, Logan (at bottom of Old Main Hill). The longer evening time slot allows for more discussion. Programs are free and registration is not required. Bring a friend! For further information: (435)797-1569; jean.lown@cc.usu.edu