Estate Planning 101: Not Just for High Net Worth Individuals

It’s a common misconception that estate planning applies only to those with a high net worth and a lot of valuable assets. The truth is, estate plans are beneficial for everyone and can be customized to satisfy the needs, interests, and goals of any individual or family. Most people want to minimize unnecessary costs, confusion, and stress for loved ones after death or protect loved ones from bad decisions, outside influences, or creditor problems — that’s where estate planning comes in.

A great estate plan helps make the process of transferring wealth easier. There are many examples of situations where having an estate plan can simplify your life such as:

  • Young married couples with children
    • Name a guardian for your child in the event you predecease your child
    • Establish a trust fund for your child’s education or living support
  • Blended families
    • Consider different inheritances between biological children and stepchildren
    • Plan around events like a spouse remarrying
  • Individuals with special needs
    • Qualify for public assistance, such as Social Security disability insurance
    • Establish a healthcare power of attorney, living will, and HIPAA authorization
  • Charitable givers
    • Establish a legacy of good will
    • Minimize estate tax and income tax by claiming deductions for charitable giving
  • Business owners
    • Succession plan for management and/or ownership in the company
    • Transfer business assets to your children and retain a source of income for yourself
  • Individuals with assets that exceed $11.2 million or married couples with assets that exceed $22 million
    • Determine the intergenerational transfer of assets
    • Plan for the ramifications of a married couples’ simultaneous death

Learn about the best estate planning strategies for your situation. Contact our Estate Planning and Probate Group.

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