What is Estate Planning?
Everyone has an estate and should have a plan in place to protect their assets and family when they are unable to.
Your estate includes everything you own including physical assets, intangible items (such as digital assets and insurance), and even your debt obligations.
Estate planning is the process of outlining in advance the people or organizations who will receive your assets and the management of how those assets will be received. It is also your opportunity to establish your wishes for how and by whom your minor children might be cared for.
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An estate plan typically involves planning and documentation including:
- Power of Attorney for Health Care and Financial Power of Attorney
- Advanced Healthcare Directives
Why is it Important to Have an Estate Plan?
Sometimes people think an estate plan is only for high-net-worth families, but that is not the case. To minimize taxes and ensure a smooth asset transfer, you need documents in place. It is not just at death that estate planning matters, incapacity is a concern as well.
It also includes planning (among other things) for:
- Minimizing taxes and court and legal fees
- Providing for your minor children
- Transferring your business when you retire, become incapacitated, or pass away
- Instructions for your financial and physical care if you become incapacitated
- Arrangements if you require long-term care or are disabled
- Providing for special needs of family members or loved ones
- Transferring assets to loved ones with protections against irresponsible financial behaviors or future divorce
Gathering Your Information
Creating a list of vital information about you and your family will assist with your estate planning. This workbook will help your family and those who will be responsible for your affairs if you become disabled or at death. Your will and other estate planning documents will cover how your assets will be handled, but this workbook will provide more detailed information not always listed in those legal documents.
After creating the list, you will want to revisit it occasionally to make updates so the information is as current as possible. Let your family know where you keep the document so they can easily access it when needed.
Click on the image below to download our Estate Planning Inventory Workbook to gather all your important information in one place.
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