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Beyond the Terms – Who Needs Estate Planning?
There are a lot of misconceptions about estate planning. And part of the blame lies with professional advisors who speak a unique planning dialect. We talk about wills, so you may associate estate planning with death planning and distributing assets after you’re gone. And since death usually happens when we’re advanced in age, you may believe planning is for older, retired people. We talk about “wealth” so you may think planning is only for the wealthy. In fact, the word “estate” itself adds to the confusion. However, estate planning is concerned with much more than death, and is important for everyone; not just the wealthy.
Got so who needs estate planning?
It is a serious question that is too often ignored. For many, the idea of estate planning means having millions of dollars in assets that will need to be distributed. The reality, though, is that estate planning is for anyone and everyone, as each of us, regardless of how much we have, is inevitably going to die. So the real question shouldn’t be who needs estate planning, but rather, what kind of estate planning do you need? The first kind is for those with large amounts of financial assets that would be subject to estate and inheritance taxes. This type of estate planning is best discussed with a CPA and attorney so that you can make arrangements that will minimize the government’s share of your estate. The second kind of estate planning is for everyone else: the more than 90% of Americans whose assets are not large enough to require tax planning.