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What is family estate planning?

The concept of family estate planning is nothing new. It is basically the passing down of a deceased individual’s assets and investments from one generation to another. It Involves wills, trusts, management of a deceased individual’s assets and investments, distribution of family assets between heirs, etc. Family estate planning is usually done with the help of a legal attorney with experience in estate laws. Family estate planning can help ensure the financial future of your loved ones. It can provide you and your family with a sense of financial safety and security. There is a myth that family estate planning is usually a step that is taken after retirement. In reality, family estate planning can be done as long as the person is over the age of 18 and has a sound mind. Another myth related to family estate planning is that only rich people or wealthy families engage in family estate planning. This cannot be further from the truth as family estate planning can be planned by anyone that has a financial asset.

People don’t have to wait till retirement to draw a family estate plan as life is unpredictable and death can come knocking at your door anytime. So, don’t wait till retirement to make this crucial decision. The earlier you plan your family estate, the better decisions you will make. It is also important to note that amendments are made to the family will throughout the lifetime of a person due to some unavoidable circumstances like divorce and remarriage. Another advantage of drawing a family estate planning at a young age is that it can save you from making impulsive decisions. As we know with age, certain physical and mental abilities deteriorate; thus, it is wise to make such important decisions when you are both physically and mentally capable of doing so. Don’t leave this decision to your heirs or your family members because things of this nature are known to complicate relationships between family members. You should draw your family estate planning in order to avoid commonly occurring property disputes between your loved ones. A legal will can help avoid such complications.

Let’s take a look at some of the elements within family estate planning –

  • Will – A will is a financial declaration in which you designate how your assets will be divided between your family members and to whom your financial assets will go. A typical will can also contain the name of a financial guardian in case both the parents die. It is important to draw up a will in order to secure your children’s future in case something horrible happens.

  • Trusts – You can also name a trustee in your estate plan. A trustee is someone who would make financial decisions on behalf of your children until they reach the age of 18.

  • A living will – In a living will, you can specify your terms and conditions for “end of life” situations. It also outlines your desired life-sustaining treatment methods.

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