Estate Planning For Dummies


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What is estate planning?

An experienced attorney will be able to provide critical guidance and peace of mind that your documents are prepared properly.

6 Books for Estate Planning

The best time to plan your estate is now. None of us really likes to think about our own mortality or the possibility of being unable to make decisions for ourselves. This is exactly why so many families are caught off-guard and unprepared when incapacity or death does strike.

You can put something in place now and change it later…which is exactly the way estate planning should be done. The best benefit is peace of mind. Knowing you have a properly prepared plan in place - one that contains your instructions and will protect your family - will give you and your family peace of mind. This is one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for yourself and for those you love.

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What is Estate Planning? It should also: Include instructions for passing your values religion, education, hard work, etc. Include instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die. Name a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children. Provide for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits. Provide for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce.

Seven steps to basic estate planning

Include life insurance to provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury. Provide for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death. Minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees.

Be an ongoing process, not a one-time event.

Your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situations and laws change over your lifetime. Share Tools. Can You Trust Your Trust? Insurance is vital for estate planning: It helps protect your current property, things you hope to attain in the future, and the gifts you hope to leave behind. Take a look at how insurance affects your estate and what types of insurance to consider for your estate planning:.

Life insurance is a critical part of your estate planning, so make sure that when you purchase a new policy or change an existing one, you look at the rest of your estate planning to get the most benefit from your life insurance. Many estate-planning advisers concentrate on life insurance. Trusts can be a great help in your estate planning — they can protect your property, save on estate taxes, and help you avoid probate.

Trust and Estate Planning [Webinar]

Sounds great, right? Well, before seriously considering a trust, you need to understand the basics of trusts and make a well-informed decision about setting up trusts right for you. A revocable living trust may be an ideal tool to protect your estate. But beware — everyone, it seems, is trying to sell you a revocable living trust. Watch out for the hype! A bypass trust or a QTIP trust can help you and your spouse avoid unnecessary federal estate taxes.

It's about more than just death.

But you need to decide which type of trust works best in your situation. Some trusts are revocable, meaning that you can change your mind. Make sure you understand the tradeoffs for your estate planning. Even the most orderly estate plans can fall victim to some unforeseen event.


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To put together a thorough estate plan, take a look at situations that may occur and find out the necessary information for dealing with them. An actuary friend of mine made a good suggestion. Take the number of people in your household, multiply that by five, then multiply that by your annual salary.

What You Don't Know About Estate Planning Can Hurt You and Your Family

From that, subtract your net worth. Be wary of life insurance loopholes that insurance companies may try to dupe you with. A will is basically a simple document stating what you want to happen to your property in the event of your passing. After you pass away, the will is used in public court in a process known as probate to make sure your wishes are handled fairly.

For most people, a will is an essential document — if you have an executor you trust and a well-written will, your stuff will go where you want it to go. Who should be the executor? It should be someone you trust deeply.

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12 Simple Steps to an Estate Plan

Who should have my assets? Also, how should they be divided up? Who should have my personal heirlooms? Who would gain custody of my children? A durable power of attorney is a document that you sign giving someone else the power to handle your finances and legal affairs should you become incapacitated, but it expires upon your death.


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As with other documents, contact a lawyer and get it done right. A living will states the health care directives you want to be followed should you be unable to tell the doctors yourself. Do you want to be on life support for a long time at the desire of your family, or do you want to spare them the anguish of a long and drawn-out scenario?

Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies Estate Planning For Dummies
Estate Planning For Dummies

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