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Estate Planning 101

Do not be fooled by the term ‘estate planning’. You do not need to be wealthy to have an estate plan. In fact, if you have any assets at all and you wish to control what happens to them when you pass on, you will need an estate plan. Here is some detailed information to help you decide if an estate plan is right for you:

What is an estate?

An estate is made up of everything you own. For many people, this may include a home, bank accounts, vehicles, investments and other personal belongings. No matter how small or large your estate is, it is important to have a plan.

What are the benefits of creating an estate plan?

Having a plan is a great way to ensure that your wishes are carried out even after you are gone. From ensuring that certain possessions are passed on to loved ones to doing so with the least amount of taxes, an estate plan can help you make this happen. Other benefits of an estate plan include:

- Specific instructions for the passing on of valuables and family heirlooms

- Naming a guardian for any minor children

- In the event that you become disabled or are facing an end of life situation, an estate plan can provide medical directives expressing your wishes

- Help minimize court costs, taxes and other unnecessary legal fees associated with probate

- Facilitate the transfer of your business in the event that you die or become disabled

When should I make an estate plan?

There is never a right or wrong time to begin developing an estate plan. Keep in mind that your estate plan is a living document. As your estate grows, your estate plan should be continually modified accordingly. Likewise, as your family and your financial circumstances change, your estate plan will need to be updated.

How do I make an estate plan?

Making an estate plan is easier than ever. With firms like Carole Callaghan Law offering services like Texas Wills and Trusts Online, you can develop an estate plan from the comfort of your own home. Online estate plans are a cost-effective option for single people and couples alike. Whether you have complex situations like blended families, small businesses or out of state properties, an online estate plan can help you.