Planning for Your Estate

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Estate planning is arranging for the orderly transfer of your property and resources to other people during life and after death. Your estate is essentially everything that you own. Your property and resources can be transferred through beneficiaries identified in documents (i.e., pensions and life insurance policies), wills, trusts, gifts, and joint ownership of property—all of which can be part of an estate plan.

Since you may accumulate many resources during your lifetime, you will probably want to decide to whom you wish to transfer your possessions upon your death. Everyone needs an estate plan. If you do nothing, the state will decide through state law how to transfer your property after your death.

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How would you answer the following questions?

If I were to die tomorrow…

  • Who would get my property?
  • Who would care for minor children, parents, and/ or a spouse?
  • Would the family business continue?
  • Would the estate be settled according to my wishes?
  • Would taxes, fees, and costs be held to a minimum?
  • Would a trust have been appropriate for me?
  • Would my estate be settled in an appropriate and timely manner?

Plan to have your wishes carried out by taking action to develop an estate plan now.