By Melanie Hasty-Grant 

Estate Planning 101 – Securing Accounts & Supporting Loved Ones

One of the most rewarding parts of my work is building relationships with clients that last through all stages of life. Clients often come to us when they are beginning to think about their retirement; many of our client relationships last all the way to end of life arrangements. Over the years, I’ve had the honor of sitting at the bedside of clients, arranging for hospice and making sure their spouse is financially supported in the next stage of their life. These vulnerable moments are never easy, but knowing a loved one is taken care of financially allows the family to be fully focused on spending time together instead of worrying about what is next.

Estate planning is a healthy, important part of financial planning in the retirement years; Here are a few tips to make the process easier.

  1. Setup a Will or Trust. Making a will is very important. If you don’t have a will when you die, your money, property and possessions will be shared out according to the law instead of your wishes. This can mean they pass to someone you hadn’t intended – or that someone you want to pass things on to ends up with nothing. In addition, many of our clients use a Trust (instead of a will) so that their assets will not have to go through probate upon their death and/or to name a guardian for minor children.
  2. Make sure a Transfer on Death (T.O.D) is on all your financial accounts. Making sure a T.O.D is present on all financial accounts will ensure your assets will be shared based upon your wishes. Talk to you loved ones about who would be responsible for your assets and talk to your bank or financial institution about next steps.
  3. Review beneficiaries of your 401Ks and IRAs. Much like a T.O.D, the beneficiary on your retirement accounts will be the one who receives your funds. Make sure the beneficiaries on your investment funds are up to date and make any necessary changes.
  4. Set up a quick claim T.O.D on your house. A quick claim deed is a legal document that is used to transfer ownership in property, such as a house or land, from one individual to another. This step makes the process of who will be responsible for your properties much easier.

Although the thought of estate planning may not seem fun, it’s a necessary, responsible action to ensure a smooth financial future for your loved ones. From my experience, beginning with the end in mind is one of the best ways to create financial peace, now and in the years to come.

For more information go to or call 918.272.1120. Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through CWM, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.  Cetera Advisor Networks LLC is under separate ownership from any other named entity.