Estate Planning, Part 2: Mapping the Details of Your Estate Plan

Little Things Really do Mean a Lot

Although Ally Bank doesn't offer services specifically designed for estate planning, part of our mission is to provide you with information that helps you make informed financial decisions. Estate planning is an important part of your overall financial health.

Details Matter.
When you create an estate plan, your goal should be simple: to make your wishes clear about where your assets go when you pass away. "You can make it as detailed or as general as you wish," says Frank Boucher, owner of Boucher Financial Planning Services in Reston, Virginia. "It can be as detailed as someone saying, 'The shotgun that's hanging over the mantel will go to cousin Joe,' or as general as, 'Whatever is left goes to my kids and they divide it up equally,'" he said. Generally speaking, however, it's usually good to include more information rather than less. "Families often are fractured over dividing up someone's stuff," said Boucher. "So it's best to document those things, so that everyone knows what's going on."

Make a List.
As part of the estate-plan process, you will want to draw up a list of your assets, making it as complete as possible. Include investment accounts, furniture, jewelry, art, etc.—a list of assets can be quite varied. Also list liabilities. It's also important to include CDs and money-market or other bank accounts on the list, so the professional you're working with can make sure the accounts are properly titled to ensure a smooth transfer to your heirs. The same goes for individual retirement accounts (IRAs). It can be a good idea to tell someone he or she is the beneficiary on these accounts so they know where the funds are held when the time comes.

Professionals Can Help.
Your estate plan not only should name the guardian who will have responsibility for your children, as well as an executor (or trustee, if you have a trust) who will see that the instructions in your will are carried out. You can hire a professional to work through the estate-plan process—a financial planner can often help, and an attorney can draw up the actual documents.

How Ally Bank Can Help
Wherever you are in the estate planning process, consider that Ally Bank offers a variety of banking products from checking to savings products and even IRAs—all at interest rates that are consistently among the most competitive in the country. Learn more at Allybank.com or call live, 24/7 customer care at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.