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25 Documents You Need Before You Die


As recent events have indicated, it is not enough just to fill out some paperwork forming an estate plan to manage your assets after your death. For example, California and Florida have held public hearings in an effort to determine if some major insurers are not paying out unclaimed life policies to their rightful beneficiaries. In these hearings, insurers have defended the legality of their actions, stating that they are not obligated to verify that a policy holder is alive, but must pay a claim only when the beneficiaries step forward.

You can prevent mismanagement of your assets by creating and securing organized collection of key documents and letting family and friends know where to find it in case of an emergency.

Necessary documents include:
  • An authorized will. This is the most important item to have, as it allows you to determine how your assets will be distributed amongst your heirs. However, wills can be disputed in court. Because of this, many estate planners suggest a revocable trust in addition to a will, since they are harder to dispute.
  • Proof of ownership of key assets, including housing, land, stock, vehicles, corporate agreements, loans and outstanding debts.
  • Bank account information including a list of accounts and any online log-in identification, as well as any safe deposit boxes you may own. Also, be sure to register your children or spouse with the bank so that they can access your accounts without a court order.
  • Confidential health care documents, including power-of-attorney form. This form allows you to choose someone to make health care decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to do so.
  • Life insurance and retirement accounts. It is crucial that family members know the carrier, agent and policy number so that they can receive funds from the policy. Estate planners also suggest that you keep a list of any IRAs, 401 (k)s, pensions and annuities for your family.
  • Marriage and divorce papers, including a marriage license and any divorce settlement agreements.
By keeping these materials and updating them every few years or as necessary, you will ensure that your estate will be in order after your death.

See full story at Market Watch
Investment Insight
3rd Quarter 2011
25 Documents You Need
Beat the Market Without Even Trying
Flexible Savings Accounts Valuable Now
Midyear Tax Moves to Make Now

HORAN offers a range of investment products and a comprehensive suite of services to enhance your financial security.
Our team of experts provides guidance, insight, and investment monitoring with complete objectivity.

By focusing on your needs first, success will follow.

Retirement planning is increasingly complex. A host of investment options, combined with fluctuating interest, inflation rates and other variables, make it difficult to determine how much you will need, where you should invest, and who to turn to for assistance. The complex tax and legislative environment surrounding retirement planning compounds the confusion.

We guide our individual and corporate clients through the confusion surrounding retirement planning.

For more information on the topics in this issue, contact a HORAN advisor at 513.745.0707 or visit our website www.horanassoc.com.

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How to Beat the Market without Even Trying


With this strategy and a little patience (ok...a lot of patience) you can beat the market. "It won't beat a buy-and-hold in the event the stock market were to go more or less straight up," and this strategy is "about as exciting as watching grass grow."


What is the strategy? Dollar-cost averaging: Periodically investing a set sum in the market. This strategy is rooted in "buying low and selling high" - a very safe, time-honored way to make money.


Discipline is the most important factor of this strategy. "What do you get in turn for [your] willingness: The assurance that, if and when the market endures a serious downleg, you should perform far better than a buy-and-hold."


Read more  about the strategy at Market Watch.

Flexible Savings Accounts Become Even More Valuable Now 


Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) can help offset the cost of every-day items and services. Everything from fuel costs to home improvement projects to braces for your children are eligible for tax-free investing.


"At a time when Americans are looking for ways to cut their health care costs, it's important that employees take advantage of all the benefits available to them," says Joe Jackson, CEO of benefits provider WageWorks, Inc.


Many baby boomers are "sandwiched" between caring for their young children and aging parents. For this sandwich generation, FSAs can be especially useful.


"Contributions made to FSAs are deducted from paychecks before any taxes are calculated and are not reported to the IRS, thus decreasing taxable income and increasing disposable income, which can save consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year."


Read more about how Health Care Reform Law will change existing FSA rules at CNBC.


10 Midyear Tax Moves to Make Now


If you're like most people, waiting until the last minute to finish your taxes is your normal routine; "But now, halfway through the tax year, is even better for tax planning."


Organization is the easiest way to get the ball rolling. Estimating your yearly tax withholdings, contribute to your retirement plan; take advantage of the current housing market.


By following these 10 simple "midyear tax moves"- you can position yourself ahead of the game for the rest of the year.


See full story, located at Bankrate.com, to view other midyear tax moves.

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