August 2022

Offering a helping hand in making estate plans

Today, I want to tell you why estate planning is important. But why would someone need help with their estate?

An estate plan is a vital component of any financial plan, regardless of the ages of your family members or your net worth. Whether you are single, married, or partnered, there are essential components of an estate plan that can help ensure your family’s financial security.

According to The Balance magazine, there are three key reasons why estate planning is essential for any family.

• Estate Planning Protects Beneficiaries. There are a number of estate planning tools and resources you can use depending on your financial situation. A life insurance policy is among one of them. This quickly provides your beneficiary with a death benefit after you pass away (and they file a claim). The proceeds of a policy can help cover things like final expenses, mortgage payments, and future college tuition for kids or grandkids.

• Estate Planning Protects Your Assets. Without a will and other estate planning resources in place, your assets will be distributed based on the law of the state where you live. Each state has its own set of laws. Even though the recipients of your assets are your spouse and your bloodline, things can quickly become complicated.

• Estate Plans Simplify Things for Your Family. Without a will and other directives in place when you die, you may inadvertently stir up hard conversations between family members. And it’s not always about money. This is especially important with blended families, which may include ex-spouses, new spouses, biological children, and stepchildren. Since each state has its own process for determining heirs, not having a will may cause you to unwittingly exclude someone you care about who isn’t a blood relative or include relatives you don’t want to inherit anything.

At Richardson Professional Solutions, we are a small business that helps other small businesses, non-profits and family estates across the country make time for what matters most by handling their back-office tasks.

Although we clearly have a passion for small businesses, one of our favorite and most rewarding services we provide is estate assistance. What this means is that a family member brings us in to help with tasks for the family like picking up, sorting, and scanning the mail for the estate; paying bills for the estate; being a professional liaison on behalf of the estate with an accountant or lawyer; handling the bookkeeping and document maintenance for the Estate’s accounts; providing fraud monitoring; and so much more.

A quick example is a family who has allowed us to assist them in lifting the burden of the financials off of the family members so they can spend more time with the aging family member in declining health. Not only do we handle the bookkeeping and bill pay, but we have also been a liaison with the repair man, landscaper, and accountant on their behalf, removing that stress.

We also assisted the family with moving the client into an assisted living facility by preparing paperwork for the facility, establishing a post office box, handling mail forwarding and address changes – things that must be done, but are not where the family needs to be focused on spending their time in this stage of life.

We can help with as little or much as your family needs to make time for the important things in your life. No two people or families are the same, and neither are the ways that we support families.

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Keeping Your Online Office Safe

At Richardson Professional Solutions (RPS), we utilize a variety of software and applications to complete our work. Since most positions are remote, learning how to use these is critical to our job.

Some of the programs we use include email and cloud storage tools; bookkeeping and bill pay software; time tracking, project management, and task tracking applications; digital marketing and graphic design tools; and password and critical data storage applications.

Utilization of a password and critical data storage application, such as LastPass, is critical in RPS since we deal with a lot of confidential client information. LastPass is a password and data manager that stores your passwords and helps to create strong, complex passwords when creating new accounts for different programs. Safely sharing business passwords is crucial in keeping your online office safe.

Amber Steel from LastPass explains it best why keeping everyone in sync is crucial when your team is working on a project: “Passwords are a fact of work life. We use passwords to access company email, the corporate network, cloud apps, databases, subscriptions, client portals, and dozens more accounts in the workplace. As team members collaborate on projects or manage shared tasks, password sharing is often required. The challenge is to share those passwords securely, especially when team members are in different locations.

“In the past, team members have relied on sticky notes, shared spreadsheets, emails, or text messages to share passwords. Unfortunately, in addition to being insecure, all those methods are tedious timewasters. Searching out a password every time you need it, bothering team members for the correct password, interrupting your workflow to remember where you can find that password – this style of password sharing is inefficient and disruptive. The lack of encryption or verification also means that data is open to cyberattacks and theft. With 80% of data breaches traced back to poor password management, using a password manager to securely share passwords can reduce your organization’s risk of a data breach.”

At RPS we help you make more time in your business by providing back-office solutions such as bookkeeping, marketing, or project management. This, in turn, provides small business owners the flexibility to do the things that matter most to them – like building their business, continuing their education, traveling, or spending time with family.

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