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Estate Planning Is for Everyone

Apr 14, 2013

Posted by

Kris Miller

As a PREtirement and living trust expert and National Speaker, Kris Miller assists people in developing complete estate packages. Her practice focuses on helping seniors reduce their tax liabilities, Read more

When you hear the term, “estate planning,” the first thing that may pop into your mind is that “only rich people do this.” Well, you are wrong!  Estate planning is for everyone!  It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, are or if you are young or old, it is extremely important to start estate planning.

Wickipedia defines estate planning as the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate.  Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses.  Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.

Why it is important now to start estate planning?  With estate planning, you can be sure that everything is in place when you are gone.  You work hard not only for yourself but also for your loved ones.  You want to provide them the most comfortable life.  Now, because of your hard work, you have money, properties and assets.  To whom are you going to give those things when you are gone?  Estate planning ensures that your rightful heir will get what he or she deserves with less expense and taxes.

To make it clear, here is a list of the benefits that Estate Planning can give you:

  • In case you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions on your own, you    can appoint someone you trust to take care of your health care and manage your finances through a Health Care Directive and a Long-term Power of Attorney.
  • You ensure that all your assets, money and properties are distributed to your loved ones.
  • This plan will also serve as your protection from your creditors.
  • This will also lessen income taxes when you die.
  • It also lessens taxes, probate fees, your heirs’ income taxes and other problems in estate settlement.
  • This will make sure that all your obligations to all the people who are depending on you will be met.
  •  This will also help you to get away from the intervention of the government.

Don’t be afraid to get started.  It might look hard on the surface, but you will soon get the hang of it.  To help you get started, let me recommend Smart Tips for Estate Planning by Marvin Toy and Jim Yih.  It will give you instructions that are easy to read and to follow. You will learn about having a will or a living trust.  If you have children and assets, it is important for you to have this in place to ensure that your assets are in the right hands and to ensure the future of your children.

You will also learn how to choose an executor—someone you can trust, even after your death— because this is not an easy task.  This person will settle all your concerns.

Estate Planning will also help you decide what to do with all your investments and bank accounts.  You have to be sure all the details are up to date and you have chosen a beneficiary.  You can also learn about Trusts: what different types are available and which you should use in specific situations.

Choosing professionals is also discussed.  These are the people who will help you with estate planning such as financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and others.  If you are a charitable person, you can get tips on how leave donations for the foundation of your choice.

You will learn about probate.  When you have a will, this will be settled and discussed in probate court.  This means that money from your Will/testate will be used to cover those court costs.  It is better to be aware of this so you can do something about it ahead of time.

This book covers a huge scope including funerals--many things that we can arrange them ahead of time.  nd if you want to help others through organ donation, you can also learn how to do that here.

Beyond simply financial matters, you can also start thinking of your legacy or what you want your family to remember about you.  Make a scrapbook, a book of your life; or make some autio or video recordings so that the next generations can also have the chance to meet you.  In today’s digital world, that process has become infinitely more simplified and affordable.  You just need to set aside the time to do it!