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How Estate Planning Can Protect Everyone You Love, and Everything You Have

A guide to the benefits of estate planning for your family, your assets, and your legacy

What is estate planning and why is it important?

Estate planning is the process of creating a legal plan for how your property and assets will be distributed after your death. It also involves making decisions about your health care, finances, and guardianship in case you become incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes.

Estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of your age, income, or family situation. It can help you to:

  • Protect your loved ones from the stress, confusion, and conflict that can arise when there is no clear plan for your estate.
  • Ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and not by the default rules of your state or country.
  • Minimize the taxes, fees, and delays that can reduce the value of your estate and the inheritance of your beneficiaries.
  • Provide the care and support of your minor children, dependents, or pets.
  • Plan for your own health care and financial needs in case of illness, injury, or disability.
  • Leave a positive legacy for your family, your community, or your favorite causes.

What are the main components of estate planning?

Estate planning can involve different legal documents and tools, depending on your personal situation and goals. Some of the most common components of estate planning are:

  • A will: A document that specifies how your property and assets will be distributed after your death, and who will be the executor of your estate. A will can also name a guardian for your minor children or dependents, and a trustee for any trusts you create.
  • A trust: A legal entity that holds and manages your assets for the benefit of yourself or your beneficiaries. A trust can help you avoid probate, reduce taxes, and protect your assets from creditors, lawsuits, or beneficiaries’ creditors.
  • A power of attorney: A document that authorizes someone you trust to act on your behalf in financial or legal matters, in case you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself.
  • A health care proxy: A document that appoints someone you trust to make medical decisions for you, in case you become incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes.
  • A living will: A document that expresses your preferences for end-of-life care, such as whether you want to receive life-sustaining treatment, organ donation, or palliative care.

How to get started with estate planning?

Estate planning can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some steps you can take to get started with estate planning:

  • Take an inventory of your assets and liabilities and estimate their value.
  • Think about your goals and priorities for your estate, and who you want to benefit from it.
  • Consult a qualified estate planning attorney who can advise you on the best options and strategies for your situation.
  • Create and sign legal documents that reflect your wishes and comply with the laws of your state or country.
  • Review and update your estate plan regularly, especially when there are changes in your life, such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, or relocation.

Estate planning is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that can help you protect everyone you love, and everything you have. By planning ahead, you can ensure that your estate is handled according to your wishes and that your legacy is preserved for generations to come.


Please feel free to request a copy of “Everyone You Love, Everything You Have”, a book written by our firm’s founder, Kevin D. Quinn. We work closely with you to take everyone you love, and everything you have, into consideration when creating an estate plan.

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