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Why should I ... ?

Focus on estate planning

Rosie (quoted here) and Ricke Eagle

City: Elmwood, Ill.
Occupations: Retired nurse case manager (Rosie) and carpet store owner (Ricke)
Modern Woodmen representative: Dave Bergland

Why is estate planning important? My folks did not prepare well. Their wish was for their farms to be sold and the proceeds divided among their three kids. They had wills, but nothing specific. It was a nightmare for my siblings and me. It did not end well. I swore to myself I would never do that to our children. 

How is Modern Woodmen helping you with your estate planning needs? We needed some really good ideas about estate planning. Dave gave us the name of an estate planning attorney that several of his other members use. Dave also helped us with annuities and life insurance. And we set up 529 college savings plans for our grandchildren and annuities for our kids that we add to each Christmas.

We don’t worry about our future – or our kids’ or grandkids’ futures. There are no big pockets, but it’s enough to help them out. We’re prepared, and now we can have fun being retired!

Dave’s advice: An estate plan helps ensure what you want done gets done. Proper planning makes it easier for your financial representative to carry out your wishes and helps avoid potential arguments among those you leave behind. My best advice is to not procrastinate. And when working with an attorney, be sure to work with someone who specializes in estate planning. It can make a big difference. 


Fact or fiction? Estate planning is only for the wealthy
Fiction. Estate planning is important for those who consider themselves of moderate means too. 

Mistakes can impact your family’s well-being. Without proper planning, much of what you’ve spent a lifetime building could be lost to family disagreements, delays, probate and legal fees, taxes, and other expenses. 

If you own property or have someone who is dependent on you, then you need an estate plan. It helps you address how, when and to whom you want your assets to be distributed after your death. You may need to utilize a number of tools to accomplish your goals, such as wills, trusts and life insurance.

One of the simplest first steps you can take now is to make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date on your life insurance and retirement plans.

Estate planning is one of several key areas of financial planning to address throughout your life. Talk to your representative to learn more.

Member benefit alert!
Ask your representative about Modern Woodmen’s Final Wishes Interactive Resource. This member benefit is a free USB device that helps you prepare, share and store your final wishes. It also helps families cope with the financial issues surrounding the death of a loved one.