What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process by which a person plans for the management of his or her assets, affairs and healthcare if he or she becomes disabled or dies. Prior planning produces positive results upon a disability or death. Failing to plan is planning to incur unnecessary problems, delay, taxes and expense.

There is a 58% probability that you will suffer a disability of 90 days or more during your life. It is certain you will die. Failing to plan commonly results in the imposition of default “remedies,” such as guardianships, conservatorships, and intestate succession. These default remedies frequently will not produce the results that you would have chosen. Failing to plan will often result in additional or unnecessary expenses, taxes, and delays.

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The AARP reports that only 60% of people over age 50 have wills, 45% of these people have durable powers of attorney, 30% of these people have advance medical directives, and only 23% have living trusts. These statistics indicate that most people fail to make a comprehensive estate plan. And of those who have completed their estate plans, the odds are that they haven’t reviewed their plans in years.

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