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The Necessity of Estate Planning and Trusts

If you don’t have a good estate plan, your state treasurer, or an attorney may be the happiest beneficiaries when you die. Estate planning and trusts are ways for your family to avoid unnecessary taxation and high payments to an attorney that can erode your estate.

Proper estate planning doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it puts you in control of the division of assets. It gives you control from the grave on the disposition of your items besides saving dollars that you want to go to your family.

The most important part of estate planning is the creation of a will. If you die intestate, without a will, your state has a plan on how to dispose of your property. The state’s scheme uses blood relationships to determine who gets the assets of the estate.

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While you might have a specific person in mind for a treasured item you know they’d love and cherish, the state’s plan might give it to another who would never value it as much. Depending on the family that remains when you pass, it could also pass your estate to family members you don’t really like and bypass those that really care about you or take care of you.

If you have dependent children, it’s important to select guardians for them if something should happen to you and your spouse. Make certain that you ask the party before you name them as the guardian. While they may be a perfect choice, it’s a big responsibility that they may not be ready to handle.

You also name an executor or executrix for the estate in the will. This is the person in charge of distributing the property at your demise. It is best to name an alternate in the event that the primary executor is unable to do the job. You can use a spouse for this or a trusted child. This person overlooks the work of the attorney at the time of your death and arranges for the distribution of your property. If you worry about finding you’ll want someone else later, don’t. You can change any part of your will at any time.