Getting ready to retire? Congratulations! You worked too hard for too long to have to struggle financially now. That’s why estate planning should not be overlooked. Farm Bureau members, as a member benefit, can meet with an estate planning specialist and receive a free, no-obligation analysis of their individual estate and retirement savings needs. More than 200 member families take advantage of the service each year. Anyone who owns property—a home, car or bank account—needs an estate plan. It allows you to direct how, and to whom, your assets will be distributed after your death. And make no mistake—every estate is planned, if not by the owner, then by state and federal laws. Failing to plan, or planning without being fully informed of all your options, can lead to dire consequences: the sale of some assets to pay taxes; conflicts among heirs; unnecessary or excessive costs that reduce your estate’s value; or improper asset distribution. The estate planning process begins with an in-depth inventory of asset values, and a general overview of heirs and intended asset distributions. Participants receive an analysis that examines potential tax liabilities resulting from several plans of distribution. Legal and/or tax counsel generally are necessary in following up on recommendations made in the analysis. Your Farm Bureau insurance agent serves as your primary contact for estate planning services and can make an appointment for you. Call your county Farm Bureau office today for more information.