Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Having it done your way!

The subject of what we would like done once we leave this earth is not a subject many people are comfortable discussing. Unfortunately, many people pass on without making financial or final needs arrangements. There are some simple things we can do to make things easier once the time comes.

One easy thing to do is list beneficiaries on items such as retirement accounts and bank accounts. If your spouse for example inherits your IRA account, she has several options as a beneficiary. She can role the account over into her own IRA and it now is subject to the same rules as any money she has in that account. There are several other options he or she can take including a lump sum at that time.

Bank accounts in both names are easier to deal with since either one can make withdrawals or deposits. This sometimes is an easy way to make enough money liquid to take care of final expenses and other bills that may arise.

Life insurance with a beneficiary is also an easy avenue. In most cases it is not included in the estate and is not subject to probate. Another advantage is that funds are normally distributed by the insurance company within weeks and again in most cases tax free.

Setting up most retirement accounts at work can solve problems as well. In most cases the working spouse at retirement can choose a 50 percent or 75 percent survivor benefit. In that case when the one spouse departs the other will still receive a percentage of the retirement benefit for as long as he or she will live.

These are simple suggestions that don't even discuss the traditional methods of wills and trusts, which are also ways to make sure you are having it done your way and not letting family members have to guess at what you would like to have done.

Marty Pay has been a Farmers Agent for over 40 years, he is a CLU and teaches Finance at a local university. His office is located at 212 West F St., Tehachapi, (661) 822-3737.