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Estate Planning

Estate planning is planning for your death so that your family and financial resources are distributed and cared for in accordance with your objectives.

A well-thought-out estate plan will include not only a will, but also life insurance, correctly owned and with proper beneficiary designations, property deeded appropriately, survivors instructed in both written form and orally as to wishes and desires, proper and easily located records, advisors properly selected and instructed, and perhaps many other things.

As can be seen, an estate plan is a very comprehensive plan for death, when planning is no longer possible. Therefore, it must be well-documented and totally complete. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 50% of Amercians don't even have a will, let alone the other elements necessary for a complete and proper estate plan.


Action Item:

There are many other technical aspects of estate planning that are beyond the scope of this book. Revocable living trusts, charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, as well as different methods of property ownership are all vehicles and techniques that could enhance an overall estate plan. The use of these will depend upon your goals and the makeup and size of your estate and will require the input of a qualified professional.

Today's Bottom Line

Estate planning is an integral part of financial planning, but it is not financial planning in its entirety. Both financial planning and estate planning need to begin at an early age. They are dynamic in nature and procrastinate in either area is poor stewardship.


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