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What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a legally documented plan that allows you to state your final wishes. It will assist with the process of settling your affairs in the event of your death or disability. Your estate plan can be tailored to fit your family situation and meet your financial needs.

Disability Plan

A disability plan is an often overlooked, but very important part of your estate plan. This plan arranges the care of your finances and your medical needs in case you should become mentally disabled and unable to make your own medical or financial decisions.

Guardian Plan

If you have minor children, you should have a guardian plan in case you and your spouse pass away. A guardian plan names a caregiver to care for your children until they reach adulthood. By naming caregiver, you can help your children avoid a long custody battle upon your death. A Last Will and Testament is a common document used to name a guardian.

Debt Plan

In the event of your death, all of your medical bills, final arrangement expenses and any other liability you owe must be settled with your estate holdings. You can make a plan for this and name an estate executor or successor trustee. If you have a Last Will and Testament, you will name an executor, also called a personal representative, to find and pay all of your debts and taxes. If you have a Revocable Living Trust, your successor trustee will have this responsibility. In both cases, your debts will be paid from your estate funds or by liquidating estate property.

Asset Plan

In your Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust you can name beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries will receive what remains of your estate after all debts have been settled. If you do not pick beneficiaries, state law will decide who inherits by determining your heirs at law. Because your heirs at law may not include everyone you wish to name as a beneficiary, it is important to include your wishes for asset dispersion in your estate plan.

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