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5 Reasons Estate Planning Should Be Part Of Your 2017 Resolution

The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on the past year and make new goals for the future. It is a time for reassessing what is important to you and setting new priorities. As you think about what you want to achieve in 2017, consider estate planning.

Why you need an estate plan

Do you have goals to provide for your family? Keep expenses down? Ensure your loved ones are protected no matter what? Give to a charity? An estate plan can accomplish each of these and more. Here are five reasons why you should make estate planning a priority this year.

  1. Provide for your loved ones. An estate plan allows you to decide how your assets should be handled upon your death. Naming your loved ones as your beneficiaries will ensure they are protected should you pass away unexpectedly. If you fail to name beneficiaries, the state of Kentucky will decide for you.
  2. Minimize taxes. You may be aware that taxes are applied to estates and inheritances, but did you know that you can avoid them? With the right estate plan, you can minimize - or even eliminate - the impact of taxes on your assets, leaving more of your estate for your beneficiaries.
  3. Protect your children and other vulnerable loved ones. Do you have children? Elderly parents who can't care for themselves? A sibling with a disability? You can craft an estate plan that helps protect the most vulnerable people in your life. You can appoint a guardian for your children, establish a special needs trust or create other provisions that ensure these individuals will be protected even if you are no longer there to protect them yourself.
  4. Plan for difficult situations. No one likes to think about it, but dealing with incapacitation and end-of-life situations can be realities of life. Preparing now ensures your wishes will be upheld and prevents your family from having to make difficult choices for you. With an estate plan, you can decide how you want your end-of-life care to be handled and who you want to be in charge of your health-related affairs.
  5. Make your death easier for your loved ones. If you pass away without a comprehensive and up-to-date estate plan, you leave the responsibility of dealing with your estate and other affairs to your family. Making a plan now minimizes the amount of work your loved ones will have to do while grieving your loss.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to establishing an estate plan, and the list does not stop here. You can also pass assets on to a charity, protect your business and create other stipulations unique to your life.

While creating an estate plan is an important step toward protecting yourself and your loved ones, it is important to ensure it will hold up in court. When you are ready to get started on your estate plan, it is best to work with an experienced attorney. Your attorney can make sure you are considering all of your options and building your plan in a way that will be upheld by the courts.

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