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An Overview of Estate Planning

Estate planning is not just for wealthy individuals who have multiple homes, businesses, and assets. Nor is estate planning something only the elderly should be concerned about. Nearly everyone has an estate and when (not if) something happens to you, having an estate plan will ensure everything you leave behind is taken care of as you wish.

What Does an Estate Plan Do?

An estate plan’s purpose is to offer various directives to those caring for you is you become disabled or for those you leave behind. The instructions you provide are included in various legal documents including wills, trust, beneficiary forms, and the like.

In general, estate plans give medical directives if you become incapacitated in additional and final and financial instructions if you pass away. Estate plans can address almost all concerns your family by determining:

  • Your end of life services
  • When life support will cease
  • Who will take care of your pets
  • When to move to a nursing home
  • Who will take care of your children
  • Who should make medical decisions
  • Who will inherit your money and assets
  • The kind of medical care you will receive
  • How your businesses will continue operations

Proper estate planning makes sure decisions can be made swiftly and as you desire. Failure to create an estate plan will leave important decisions up to the State.

How to Create an Estate Plan

There is never a better time than now to begin creating your estate plan. Begin researching estate planning checklists and start updating important documents. Early steps will include creating a will, updating beneficiaries, and purchasing life insurance.

While there are many steps of estate planning you can do on your own, it is advisable to seek the advice of an estate planning attorney. Every state has different laws that require consideration. Estate plans control your legacy, protect and distribute assets, and can provide for those who you leave behind. If you have any questions about estate planning, please contact my office today to learn more.