Estate planning is one of the most important steps a person can taketo make sure that their property and health care wishes are honored, and that their loved ones are provided for in their absence. It involves both planning for management of your assets during your life and for passing your property on to your children or other heirs after your death, with as few taxes, costs and headaches as possible.
• Carry out your wishes about who will receive your property and assets and how they will receive them after your death.
• Ensure that your assets are transferred to those persons you want to have them.
• Avoid the time and cost of the probate process, when appropriate.
• Preserve and protect assets in the event a family member requires long term care or nursing home care in the future, is receiving public benefits, is a minor, has creditors, is facing a divorce, has a substance abuse problem, etc.
• Minimize or, in some cases, eliminate a likely inheritance or estate tax upon death.
• Set forth the kinds of life-prolonging medical care you wish to receive should you be unable to make your wishes known when the time comes.
• Set forth the kind of funeral arrangements you would like and how related expenses are to be paid.
• Provide a trusted guardian for minor children.
• Maintain financial health during incapacity.
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