ColumnL Planning for Your Family’s Future

— Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own — your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture and personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate — and, as the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you.

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, ACT for Alexandria is partnering with Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) to offer expert advice on “Planning for your Family’s Future.” Open to the public, this seminar will cover what you need to know about financial and estate planning. Join us at 9:30 a.m. at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation located at 3830 Seminary Road for this informative discussion.

It is important to plan ahead, make decisions in advance and not be guided by emotions. Estate planning is not just for retired people, although people do tend to think about it more as they get older. Unfortunately, we can’t predict how long we will live, and illness can happen to people of all ages.

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy, although people who have built some wealth do often think about how to preserve it. Good estate planning often helps families with modest assets as they cannot afford a financial loss.

Wills and trusts are two important tools to assist you in spelling out how you would like your assets distributed. Other tools, including the advanced medical directive, healthcare proxy and durable power of attorney, will also be referenced.

Panelists will touch upon a variety of issues from retirement planning and managing one’s finances to tax planning and risk management. AARP representative Sally Hurme will set the stage by framing the issues many seniors face when planning for the future. Rounding out the panel will be Kim Fiske, partner with Fiske & Harvey, offering legal guidance and Laurie Blackburn, vice president, Investments at Speck-Caudron Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors discussing financial considerations. The panel will be moderated by Tristan Caudron, Senior Partner and Managing Director, Investments of the Speck-Caudron Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.

To register online, go to or call SSA at 703-836-4414, ext. 10.