At Meridian Wealth Group, we can help.

By definition, estate planning is a process designed to help you manage and preserve your assets while you are alive, and to conserve and control their distribution after your death according to your goals and objectives. But what estate planning means to you specifically depends on who you are. Your age, health, wealth, lifestyle, life stage, goals, and many other factors determine your particular estate planning needs. For example, you may have a small estate and may be concerned only that certain people receive particular things. A simple will is probably all you'll need. Or, you may have a large estate, and minimizing any potential estate tax impact is your foremost goal. Here, you'll need to use more sophisticated techniques in your estate plan, such as a trust.

To help you understand what estate planning means to you, the following sections address some estate planning needs that are common among some very broad groups of individuals. Think of these suggestions as simply a point in the right direction, and then seek professional advice to implement the right plan for you.

Over 18

Since incapacity can strike anyone at anytime, all adults over 18 should consider having:

  • A durable power of attorney: This document lets you name someone to manage your property for you in case you become incapacitated and cannot do so.
  • An advanced medical directive: The three main types of advanced medical directives are (1) a living will, (2) a durable power of attorney for health care (also known as a health-care proxy), and (3) a Do Not Resuscitate order. Be aware that not all states allow each kind of medical directive, so make sure you execute one that will be effective for you.

Young and single

If you're young and single, you may not need much estate planning. But if you have some material possessions, you should at least write a will. If you don't, the wealth you leave behind if you die will likely go to your parents, and that might not be what you would want. A will lets you leave your possessions to anyone you choose (e.g., your significant other, siblings, other relatives, or favorite charity).

Unmarried couples

You've committed to a life partner but aren't legally married. For you, a will is essential if you want your property to pass to your partner at your death. Without a will, state law directs that only your closest relatives will inherit your property, and your partner may get nothing. If you share certain property, such as a house or car, you may consider owning the property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. That way, when one of you dies, the jointly held property will pass to the surviving partner automatically.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2015.
Social Security and Medicare Planning

“What is your opinion on social security? Am I better off taking social security at age 62 or waiting until 66 or 70?”

“I am concerned about what healthcare costs are going to be for me when I retire. I’m afraid all my savings will be used up for care when I get older.”

I hear variations of statements and questions like these often. Maybe you have asked or said similar things yourself. Clients are correct to ask these questions and address the issues; sooner than later.

Too often financial advisors are not well-equipped to answer these questions correctly or fully. Frequently, I see individuals take social security benefits too early or much later than is in their best interest because no one could show them why doing one or the other was most appropriate. Taking social security early may be the very best thing for one person but another may benefit in multiple ways by delaying benefits. A number of factors go into making this decision and the best answer is not the same for everyone.


Fewer advisors understand how to explain how to determine the cost of Medicare and related health-care expenses in retirement. Most clients assume there is there is no way to know how to plan for these expenses. They just know the cost will be higher than they want to pay and possibly more than they can afford. Rarely will an advisor delve into this area to help their clients understand what the costs will actually be and the best ways to pay for those costs.


I have made it a priority to work with clients to implement the best strategies for each to maximize social security income and minimize Medicare costs. I would like to help you go into retirement with the knowledge you need to make good choices related to your income and prepared to manage health-care related expenses in the best possible manner.


Call us to schedule a time to begin your review and get the critical answers you need on these two components of your retirement