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Most people think that you need a large value of assets to benefit from estate planning. But the truth is, everyone can benefit from a complete estate plan.

An estate plan can include a will, trust, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and living will. There are different types of wills and trusts to consider for your estate plan depending on your family and assets. Also, your estate plan will include documents that provide for what happens if you are incapacitated, which could be a temporary condition, such an as a car accident, or a permanent condition, such as Alzheimer's.

Having an estate plan allows you to make the following decisions about your assets so your loved ones don’t have to:

1. How should your assets be allocated

2. Who will divide your assets, as directed

3. Who will be the guardian for minors

4. Who will manage assets left to minors

5. Who will manage finances if incapacitated

6. Who will make your medical decisions

7. Can beneficiaries manage their “inheritance”

If these and other issues aren’t addressed before you pass, it can create stress for your loved ones, during an already difficult time.


1. Avoids lengthy and costly probate process

2. Immediate transfer/disposition of assets

3. No public recording

4. Step-up tax basis on property

5. Reduces the probability family conflict


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