How Can An Estate Plan Help Me?

Aaron Grey
September 25, 2008 — 1,406 views  
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Do you know how your life will be divided after your death? Who will your estate go to Who will look after your children? With an estate plan you decide. You are in control of your family's security in the event that something tragic should happen. Now perhaps you are a little foggy with some of the fundamental ideas associated with estate planning. Let's start at the beginning.

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law estate planning is:

The arranging for the disposition and management of one's estate at death through the use of wills, trusts, insurance policies, and other device

Your estate is everything you own, your assets and liabilities. This includes things such as your house, account in your name, your insurance policies, and vehicles. The problem with dying without an effective estate plan is that even if your property is distributed to the proper people, a process known as "probate court" may cost your heirs up to 10% of your assets net value. Also you must take any children that you are the legal guardian of into consideration. If you do not have an estate plan it may be probate court that decides who looks after them after them after you are gone.

You don't want to let this happen to you and your family. You need an estate plan. Now, in order to start estate planning you are going to need to look into the following options: living wills, revocable living trusts.

A living will is a document in which you can spell out where all of your assets will be going. You may also modify this document at anytime. You are the one in control. This is a great way to avoid probate court.

A living trust allows you to name a person who will handle all of your legal affairs after you pass away. Your trust may either be revocable or irrevocable. Revocable means that, just like a living will, you can modify it at any time. However, in an irrevocable living trust you do not have the ability to change it.

Having an estate plan can help your family avoid many hardships after your passing. Don't let your whole life fall into the wrong hands. Take control. Make an estate plan today.

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Aaron Grey