Prepare Your Estate Plan: Lesson Objectives

In this lesson you will:

  • Learn what is included in an estate plan
  • Gain a basic understanding of estate-planning tools:
  • Power of Attorney
  • Property Ownership
  • Wills
  • Probate
  • Estate Taxes/Gifts
  • Trusts
  • Receive suggestions for hiring and working with an attorney
  • Increase your knowledge by reviewing several case studies

Have you put off making plans to distribute your property when you die?

There are many financial and emotional reasons for having an estate plan. Just think about the suffering and expense family and loved ones could be spared if plans are made in advance. Now is the time to get started! If you already have a plan, this lesson will help you review or modify it, if necessary.

Older couple walking on a sidewalk under an umbrella

An AARP survey (2000) about the general use of estate-planning tools found that among Americans age 50 and older:

  • 60% had a will
  • 45% had a durable power of attorney
  • 23% had created a living trust
  • 36% had none of these legal documents
  • 17% had a will, durable power of attorney, and living trust