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Estate Planning Defined

Estate Planning Defined


Estate planning is the process of arranging for the management and distribution of an individual’s assets after they pass away. It involves creating a comprehensive plan that ensures that their assets are passed on to their beneficiaries according to their wishes. Estate planning is important for all individuals, regardless of their net worth or age. In this article, we will define estate planning and explore its benefits.

Defining Estate Planning

Estate planning involves creating a plan for the management and distribution of assets upon an individual’s death. It often includes the creation of legal documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Estate planning also involves designating beneficiaries for retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets.

Benefits of Estate Planning

1. Protecting Assets

Estate planning can help protect an individual’s assets from being lost or diminished due to estate taxes, lawsuits, or creditors. By making arrangements for the distribution of assets and taking steps to minimize estate taxes, an individual can ensure that more of their wealth is passed on to their beneficiaries.

2. Providing for Loved Ones

Estate planning allows individuals to provide for their loved ones after their death. This includes designating beneficiaries for assets such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and investment accounts. It also includes creating a plan for the distribution of other assets such as real estate, personal property, and business interests.

3. Avoiding Probate

Probate is the process by which a court reviews a will, confirms its validity, and oversees the distribution of assets included in the will. Estate planning can help circumvent the probate process by using trusts or other legal arrangements to transfer assets directly to beneficiaries.

4. Ensuring Healthcare Wishes

Estate planning involves creating a living will and a healthcare power of attorney. These documents allow individuals to specify their wishes for end-of-life care and designate someone to make medical decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so.

5. Preserving Wealth

Estate planning can help to preserve a family’s wealth for future generations. By creating trusts and other legal instruments, an individual can ensure that their assets are managed and distributed according to their wishes, rather than being squandered or used for unintended purposes.


Estate planning is an important component of financial planning that is necessary for individuals at all stages of life. It provides many benefits, including protecting assets, providing for loved ones, avoiding probate, ensuring healthcare wishes, and preserving wealth. It is important for individuals to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to tailor a plan that fits their unique circumstances and provides the best possible outcomes for their beneficiaries.

Estate Planning Defined:

Estate planning refers to the process of arranging and dispersing the assets of an estate. This process typically attempts to diminish any uncertainties that pertain to the administration of a probate. The goal of estate planning is to maximize the value of the underlying estate through the reduction of taxes and other expenses attached to the assets and property.

Estate planning is the legal process required to distribute the assets and monetary packages that are left over after the disposal of an estate. In most instances, relatives or guardians of the entity’s estate are dispersed through the process.

Estate planning utilizes various devices to expedite the process. Estate planning will typically involve beneficiary designations, the delivery of wills and trusts, powers of appointment, rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, powers of attorney, gifts, and property ownership issues.

Estate planning, in essence, is the systematic approach to organizing an individual or entity’s personal and financial affairs. This process is realized when an individual is approaching an advanced age or undergoes an ailment that irrevocably alters their mental capacity.

Estate Planning Process

When considering estate planning, the first step needed in the evaluation process, is to assess the underlying family situation and the financial status of those involved. When estate planning has been determined, the inclusion of a qualified estate planning lawyer is necessary.

Once an estate attorney has been hired, the next step is to create and build the foundation of the estate plan. Depending on the family and financial situations, the estate plan will include the following estate planning documents:

1.    Will-Based Estate Planning: If the family and financial situations do warrant the inclusion for a Revocable Living Trust, the foundational estate plan will include these legal documents:

1.) A Last Will and Testament;

2.) An Advance Medical Directive;

3.) A Living Will; and

4.) The Financial Power of Attorney.

2.    Trust-Based Estate Planning: If the family and financial situations call for the development of a more complex estate plan, the foundation of the estate plan will include the following legal documents:

1.) Pour Over Will;

2.) Revocable Living Trust;

3.) Advance Medical Directive;

4.) A Living Will;

5.) A Financial Power of Attorney

Estate Planning Documents

•    Last Will: A last will is a legal document that covers the following points after death:

1.) Who is in charge of the deceased estate;

2.) What powers the Personal Representative or Executor will possess;

3.) Who will inherit the underlying property;

4.) How will the property be transferred to the recognized beneficiaries.

•    Revocable Living Trust: This legal document contains instructions covering the following periods of an individual’s life:

1.) What happens while the individual is alive and well;

2.) What happens if the individual becomes mentally incapacitated; and

3.) What happens after the individual dies.

•    Advance Medical Directive: Also referred to as a Medical Power of Attorney, this title allows an individual to designate a health care representative to make medical decisions for the estate owner, assuming the individual cannot make decisions for themselves.

•    Financial power of Attorney: A financial power of attorney allows an individual to manage the assets that were owned by the estate owner.