Estate Planning: The Essentials

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Here are some of the top things you may not know about estate planning but should:

1. It is always important to have an estate plan in place. – Estate plans ensure that your goals are met, for your family and financially, after your death.

2. Elements of an Estate Plan. – An estate plan can have several elements: a will, assignment of power of attorney, and a living will or health care proxy (medical power of attorney). For some people, a trust might also make sense. When drafting your estate plan, it is important to be mindful of both the governing state and federal laws – this is why it is important to seek legal representation when drafting your estate plan.

3. A Good Starting Point: Take Inventory of Your Assets – Typical assets include your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, and real estate or business interests. There are 3 important questions to ask yourself regarding your assets: (1) Whom do you want to inherit your assets?; (2) In the event you are ever incapacitated, whom do you want to handle your finances? (3) If you are unable to make medical decisions, whom would you like to medical decisions on your behalf?

4. Everybody needs a will. – A will states how your assets will be distributed after your death. It is also the best place to name the guardians of your children. Dying intestate, without a will, can be very costly and leaves you no say in how your assets will be distributed. If you have a trust, you still might need a will to handle any holdings outside of your trust.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© David Wolf | Attorney Advertising

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