A few words about the importance of estate planning
Here are two short clips from an interview with Dr. Cynthia Crawford, family financial education specialist for Saline County and the Central Missouri Region for the Extension Service. Dr. Crawford also talks about her personal experience with inheriting an estate from her mother. Interview by James Fashing/Today's Farmer magazine.
You can begin with baby steps. "First you set goals," said Cynthia Crawford, family financial education specialist for Saline County and the Central Missouri Region for the Extension Service. "If families aren't clear about what they want, you can't honor their goals."
Crawford, who works from Marshall, Mo., suggests you start by filling out a few forms. In Missouri and many other states, you can make bank accounts and other investments such as stocks and bonds payable upon death to your spouse or another beneficiary. For assets with titles, you can make the asset titled on death to the beneficiary of your choice. Crawford suggests you only include the spouses' names, not children's, so the surviving spouse maintains control of the asset.
Read related story about estate planning here.