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How to get started on your estate plan: Think about your loved ones

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

Most of us want to pass our assets to our children or immediate family. But assets can be left to distant family, a church, charity, school or other foundation. There is no right or wrong answer. However, it is important to understand some of the pros and cons when creating an estate plan.


Leaving assets for children (or a small number of loved ones) means these loved ones will receive more (or a greater amount) of assets. It will also simplify administration of these assets for your Executor or Trustee (who may likely be a loved one).


Leaving assets to a larger number of loved ones is just that, it will result in additional notification and accounting. Leaving assets to a charitable entity requires additional documents and tax considerations.


Perhaps smaller gifts during your lifetime would be appropriate? Nothing that would impact your own care or comfort, but something to let the loved one or charity know that you are thinking of them.


Also, consider whether one of your loved ones will be the Executor of your Will or Trustee of your Trust. Would this person even want the responsibilities that go along with the position, or would they become stressed over the duties?


Again, there is no right or wrong answer, but there are pros and cons to your choices. The good news is an estate planning attorney will help you make the best decisions possible for you and your family.


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