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Phone: 201-345-3018

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Making estate planning easier

Estate planning has become one of the more complex financial processes for some people. Traditionally, estate planning mostly consisted of getting your financial affairs ready to take care of your family after your death. However, now it has expanded to serve other purposes as well, such as leaving behind a legacy and making a difference in the world. Exemptions and federal tax rates have made the process of estate planning more difficult than it used to be, though. Therefore, it would benefit you to begin planning as soon as possible.

Experts offer a variety of advice to people beginning their estate planning processes. They say that it's important for people to talk about estate planning with their family members and offer them a various tips for when they do begin the process. First, they say that people should compile a list of all their assets, including all their accounts. Then, they should ensure that they make a list of the locations of all assets as well. Also, people should ensure that the correct titles, values and basis of accounts are given to their financial advisors

People might consider putting assets in a trust because this can help protect the assets from creditors and potential ex-spouses. If it is done correctly, assets that are in a trust can pass through to future generations without being subject to future estate taxes. People might also want to establish a power of attorney, which gives someone the right to oversee all their financial affairs. Ultimately, if people establish a power of attorney, they should select someone whom they believe will carry out their wishes.

Probate attorneys might be able to assist families with the estate planning process. They might be able to help people ensure that they structure their estate plans in the most beneficial manner possible for future generations.

Source: Fox Business, "How to Make Estate Planning Less Complex", Casey Dowd, August 22, 2013

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