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Who Needs Estate Planning?

The older we get, the more we need to think about the future. As life moves along, we are constantly running out of time to prepare for the future, and one thing that everything has to deal with at some point and time is estate planning.

What is estate planning, and who needs to worry about it?

Estate planning is essentially coming up with a plan for what to do with your assets when the time comes that you either cannot support yourself or when you pass away. It is not something anyone wants to think about, but it is something we all need to take care of.

When we pass away, the emotional strain that is put on our families is huge, but with a little estate planning, we can at least help remove the financial strain that is left behind.

Before you jump to the conclusion that your estate is too small to worry about, consider all of the things that are included in your estate. Cars, homes, savings account, jewelry, furniture, stocks and bonds are all included. Basically anything that has any value is included, and just about everyone has at least one of those things.

So the basic answer to who needs estate planning is EVERYONE. We all own something. If not a house, then we have cars, or IRAs or some form of assets that will need to be dealt with at some point.

While everyone needs some estate planning, the size of your assets determines just how much estate planning you will really need.

If you have a small estate, then you simply need to find one person that is willing to settle your final debts, which will receive your assets after your death, or will make healthcare plans for you if you should get to the point where you are unable to make those decisions.

For individuals with larger estates, then most likely a lawyer is going to have to get involved. Not only will you need to come to some tough decisions on where to leave your assets, but you also want to make sure you take advantage of the laws available to you in order to make sure you preserve as many assets as possible. A little time and money spent today on estate planning can go a long way in reducing or at the least postponing large tax liabilities after your death.

No matter how old you are, things happen beyond our control, so it is never too soon to consider doing some estate planning.

So regardless of the amount of assets you have, or your current age, it is beneficial to do a little estate planning. The goal of estate planning is to make things easier on the people we leave behind, so it is a good thing to do sooner than later, and will make their lives much easier once we are no longer here to take care of things.

Michael Fowlkes

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va.