Leaving a legacy
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You love your family a lot. You want to try to help your family. I have my son now and my two grandchildren, two little granddaughters. Absolutely the delight of my life.
You want to leave as much wealth as you can as a financial legacy. Even in retirement you got to do a lot of good budgeting, especially if you want to try to help your family. And I want to express that in a more physical way, too. Not monetarily, but in a physical way.
And what I bought for Rebecca and Hannah were two sets of engraved silver candlesticks. It says, "To Rebecca, on her bat mitzvah, with all my love, Zeyde." That's the Yiddish word for "grandfather." So, when they light those candles, they're going to see that inscription. And you want to be remembered and hopefully my two granddaughters will remember me that way.
Estate planning basics
- Identify who will inherit assets and how beneficiaries will receive them
- Determine who will manage your estate and who can act on your behalf if you become incapacitated
- Minimize estate taxes, income taxes and administrative costs for your heirs
- Provide funds to cover immediate family needs
- Help avoid conflicts and protect your family’s privacy
Preparing estate plan documents
- A will (or will and testament) sets forth how an individual wishes to disburse possessions and assets after death. It can also include instructions for who will take over guardianship of children.
- A living will dictates the type of medical care an individual would like to receive in the event that he or she cannot express or make decisions for themselves.
- A living trust (or inter-vivos trust) specifies how assets are to be distributed. It is set up during an individual’s lifetime, and includes a trustee to help carry out decisions after the individual’s death without the need for probate.
- A testamentary trust also specifies how assets are to be distributed. Unlike a living trust, which is set up during an individual’s lifetime, a testamentary trust is part of a last will and testament and created after the individual’s life.
- A Medical/Healthcare Power of Attorney assigns a specific person to make healthcare and medical treatment decisions on an individual’s behalf. This document becomes active once an individual is unable to express or make decisions for themselves.
- A HIPAA Release Form allows anyone named in a living will or power of attorney to access the individual’s healthcare information.
- Beneficiary forms name the recipients for payouts to beneficiary accounts, such as for life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Beneficiary-named assets are also excluded from probate.
- A durable Power of Attorney for finances allows an individual to choose another person to handle financial decisions and other affairs.
Life insurance basics
- Level Term life insurance: Coverage that you buy for a set period of time. This kind of insurance may be an option for younger individuals, couples, or families, as premiums are relatively low and will not increase during the initial term of the policy. TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company® (TIAA Life) can provide level term insurance with benefits from $100,000 to $1,000,000 or more for periods of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. (Policy Form Series TCL-LPT.1)
- Universal life insurance: Permanent insurance designed to cover you for life, with typically higher premiums than those of term insurance plans because the policy accumulates cash values. The cash value grows at a guaranteed rate of interest and is accessible while you’re alive should you need it. (Please note that guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the issuer.) Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce policy’s cash value, and the death benefit, and may have tax consequences. This kind of insurance can be beneficial for individuals, couples and families who want the protection of life insurance and cash value accumulation. TIAA Life's Intelligent Life® Universal Life Insurance may be an option for those that want to expand their portfolio and have a valuable accumulation feature as part of their life insurance. (Policy Form Series AM-SUL.3 (2008) and AM-JUL.3 (2008))
- Variable universal life insurance: A permanent insurance policy where you choose one or more investment account options to invest your net premium dollars. The cash values and death benefits grow based on the results of your investments. The cash value can be accessed while you are alive should you need it. Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce the cash value and death benefit, and may have tax consequences. These policies have inherent risks, as the value can increase or decrease depending on how the underlying investments perform over time. This kind of insurance is generally suitable for established families, individuals and couples who want the flexibility to customize their insurance policy and are comfortable managing the investment options, and are willing to accept investment risk, including losses, in exchange for potentially higher cash value returns. TIAA Life's Intelligent Life® Variable Universal Life Insurance allows an individual to choose the coverage amount, the premium payment amount and frequency, and the investment accounts from more than 60 options. (Policy Form Series AM-SVUL.3 (2008) and AM-JVUL.3 (2008))
Learn more about TIAA Life Insurance