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Estate Planning for Everyone

Just reading the words “estate planning” conjures up many emotions and thoughts for people. Some think estate planning is only for the wealthy or the retired. Others don’t want to think about it at all because it is a reminder of our own mortality. The truth is, estate planning is extremely important for everyone, no matter your age or the size of your estate.
Your estate includes everything you own (car, home, savings/checking accounts, life insurance, possessions, etc.). By creating an estate plan, you are ensuring your wishes are carried out when you pass. Who better to decide what happens to your estate than you? If you have young children, you should be the one to choose who their guardian is. If you choose not to create a plan, the state will have one for you, and it may not be one you like.
Creating an estate plan can help you provide instructions to your immediate family and enable you to designate beneficiaries (a will), aid you in planning for unexpected mental or physical incapacity (power of attorney), and assist you with keeping assets set aside until your beneficiaries reach a certain age (a trust). As you consider what to include in your plan, think about your family and their future. If you have a larger estate, it will be especially important for you to consider how to reduce taxes on your estate so the maximum can go to your beneficiaries and the minimum can go to the government.
When you begin estate planning, discuss your plans with family members you trust. Make sure to research and update all the beneficiaries you have listed on your accounts, such as on your 401(k) or IRA. Beneficiary forms on these accounts override your will, so it is vital that you update them whenever there has been a life change.
And, finally, seek the assistance of an attorney who has special knowledge in estate planning. FORUM members can receive discounted estate planning services through Kiefer & Valenzuela, LLP. Click here for more information.
*The above is not intended to be legal advice, was not written by a legal professional and is informational only. Please consult an attorney for your specific situation.

Posted: 1/8/2016 with 0 comments

Categories: Estate Planning, Investments, Planning

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