Estate Planning for the Average American

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As an estate planning attorney it is common for me to hear from people who assume that estate planning isn’t necessary for them because they have no “estate”. However, to put it bluntly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The mistake these folks are making is assuming that an estate must consist of millions of dollars. But, the truth is that nearly everyone has an “estate” for purposes of estate planning. This includes personal residences, insurance, retirement accounts, personal possessions and household goods. It also includes things such as who will care for children in the event both parents die, who will make financial decisions in the event an individual does not have the capacity to do so, and how should doctors handle feeding tubes and life-sustaining treatment in the event they become relevant.

Here are some common types of people who may not have millions of dollars in the bank, but still should seriously consider putting an estate plan in place.

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