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What is estate planning?Estate planning is the process of putting your personal, family, and financial affairs in order. Some of the goals of estate planning are: (1) to maximize enjoyment an individual’s estate during his or her lifetime; (2) allow trusted friends and family to step-in to help make decisions, take custody, and access accounts when you are not able; (3) protect the estate from an unneccesary probate procedure; (4) minimize estate taxes; and (5) to maximize beneficiaries’ enjoyment of the estate by protecting it from creditors, themselves, divorce, and bankruptcy.
Is an estate plan necessary if I don't own much?The short answer is, "YES!" An estate plan allows others to help you when you cannot help yourself without having to apply to the probate court guardianship an/or conservatorship. It allows you to leave instructions and the proper legal authority to minimize hassle, expenses, and taxes for those you love no matter what you own.
How much should I spend on my estate plan?Proper estate planning requires an initial investment to create it and ongoing fees to maintain it, since your life will inevitably change. In addition you will need to invest your time to collect information and align your assets with your plan. The return on this “investment” will be substantial. We recently calculated that the savings (from probate fees alone) for preparing the estate plan of a $1 Million gross estate resulted in at least a 920% return. At this rate of return, making an “investment” in proper estate planning should be a no-brainer!
What is the difference between a Will and a Trust?A Will or Last Will and Testament is a ... A Trust, specifically, a Revocable Living Trust is...
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