• May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

    Do you really want to live without this coverage? If you forgo it, you may pay a high price.

     

    Provided by MidAmerica Financial Resources

     

    Disability insurance is an important insurance coverage that most people lack. Many people think of it as optional – when they think of it at all.

       

    Have you thought about it? If you are a parent or a head of household, you should. The odds of a disability are not that long. The Council for Disability Awareness, a non-profit research and education group, estimates that roughly a quarter of today’s 20-year-olds may become disabled at some point in their working lives.1

     

    If you are a breadwinner going without disability insurance, are you taking a risk? Suppose an injury stops you from working for months or years. Even if your household benefits from two or more incomes, the financial hit could be significant. It could lead you to borrow to make ends meet. It could direct money away from college saving, retirement planning, or a small business toward your household expenses. Medical costs related to the injury or disability might drain your bank or retirement accounts.

     

    The economic shock may be even more pronounced if you are single and self-employed. How long could you last without a paycheck?

     

    Disability insurance benefits can help you compensate for lost income. Short-term disability coverage (commonly six months or less) pays you around 60-70% of your base salary; there may be a dollar cap on monthly payouts. Long-term coverage usually pays you around 40-60% of your base salary; payouts often begin after a 90-day waiting period. They can be made to you as long as you are disabled, until you retire, or the term of the policy ends.2

     

    How affordable is this coverage? Very. Annual premiums are usually 1-3% of your yearly income. As with life insurance coverage, age, health, occupation, and gender are the major variables affecting policy premiums.2

     

    Yes, some employers sponsor short-term disability coverage. (California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico require employers to offer it.) This coverage may apply even if the worker’s disability is unrelated to his or her job. The term of coverage is often too short, however – it can be as short as nine weeks. As the CDA notes, the average long-term disability incident lasts 34.6 months.1

     

    Wondering about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)? To receive any of that, you must first meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disabled” – and cash benefits are typically only granted to those unemployed a year or longer. If you can perform any other kind of work, your chances of getting any SSDI may be slim.3,4

     

    What about workers’ compensation insurance? That is a form of disability insurance, but it only pays out if the injury or disability occurs on the job. Most long-term disabilities do not stem from work-related injuries.2

     

    MidAmerica Financial Resources may be reached at 618.548.4777 or greg.malan@natplan.com. www.mid-america.us

     

    This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

     

    Securities and advisory services offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC), Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
    MidAmerica Financial Resources and Malan Financial Group are separate and unrelated companies to NPC.

         

    Citations.

    1 - thebalance.com/short-term-disability-basics-1177839 [10/19/16]

    2 - nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/disability-insurance-explained/ [6/27/16]

    3 - ssa.gov/planners/disability/dqualify.html [3/29/17]

    4 - ssa.gov/planners/disability/dqualify5.html [3/29/17]

     

  • When Someone Dies Without a Will

    Where do things proceed from that point?

     

    Provided by MidAmerica Financial Resources

     

    Every day, people die intestate. In legalese, that means without a will. This opens the door for the courts to decide what happens with their estates.

      

    When no valid will exists, state intestacy laws dictate how assets are distributed. These laws divide an estate evenly (or equitably) among heirs. Any assets held in joint tenancy go to the joint owner. Assets held in a trust transfer to the trust beneficiaries (with spouses getting a share of those assets in some states). Community property goes to a spouse or partner in community property states.1

     

    Simple, right? Unfortunately, the way assets transfer under these laws may not correspond to the wishes of the deceased person. Did the decedent want some of his or her estate to go to a charity or a person close to them? These laws will not allow that. State law will also decide who the executor of the estate is, since the decedent never named one.2

     

    If the deceased person designated beneficiaries for his or her retirement accounts and life insurance policy, those retirement accounts and insurance proceeds should transfer to those beneficiaries without dispute, even when no will exists. When life insurance policies and retirement accounts lack designated beneficiaries, then those assets are lumped into the decedent’s estate and subject to intestacy laws.2

     

    Most people have specific ideas about who should inherit what from their estates. To articulate those ideas, they should write a will – or better yet, they should draft one with the help of an attorney. Anyone who cares about the destiny of his or her wealth should take this basic estate planning step.

     

    For a last will & testament to be valid, it must meet three important tests. It must be created by a person of sound mind. It must express that person’s free will – that is, it cannot be written or drafted under coercion or duress. Lastly, it must be signed and dated in the presence of two or more unrelated people who stand to inherit nothing from that person’s estate.1

     

    Many wills are signed in the presence of notaries; although, a will does not have to be notarized to be legally valid. Some wills are self-proving – they have an attached, notarized affidavit, which acknowledges that all three tests noted in the preceding paragraph have been met. When this affidavit accompanies a will, there is no need to track down the parties who witnessed the signing and dating of the document years before.1

     

    A last will and testament should be formatted and printed using a computer and printer; at the very least, it should be typed. Handwritten wills may not pass muster in some probate courts.1

     

    When an individual dies intestate, the future of his or her estate is largely up to the courts. A basic, valid will stating his or her wishes may prevent that fate.

     

    MidAmerica Financial Resources may be reached at 618.548.4777 or greg.malan@natplan.com. www.mid-america.us

     

    This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

     

    Securities and advisory services offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC), Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
    MidAmerica Financial Resources and Malan Financial Group are separate and unrelated companies to NPC.

         

    Citations.

    1 - legalzoom.com/knowledge/last-will/topic/wills-intestate [3/20/17]

    2 - money.cnn.com/2016/04/28/pf/dying-without-a-will-prince/ [4/28/16]