The Importance of Developing an Estate Plan

Do you want to be in control of your legacy? Then you should consider making an estate plan to help ensure your financial wishes are carried out. #whatsimportanttoyou
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* Kentwood - Michigan - US

KENTWOOD, Mich. - July 24, 2014 - PRLog -- An estate plan can put you in control of your legacy. However, many people think building this type of plan might not be for them.

Here are a few points to consider.

Myth: Estate planning is only for the wealthy.

Fact: Estate planning is for everyone who wants to control how his or her assets are distributed and to whom. A carefully planned estate strategy can help provide for the things you value most – such as family, children and charitable organizations – when you are no longer able to do so yourself.

Myth: I’m young – I don’t need an estate plan.

Fact: You already have a “strategy” in place, whether you realize it or not. If you don’t make your wishes known, state statutes will dictate where your assets will go after your death, how to handle decisions for you if you become incapacitated, and how the court will select a person in charge of these decisions. With estate planning, you can help ensure your wishes are followed in an orderly and structured manner, reducing potential delays and conflicts that could arise among your beneficiaries.

Myth: Estate planning is too complicated.

Fact: There are different levels of estate planning, depending on the amount of control you desire. Once you have prioritized your goals, you may want to make some trade-offs between simplicity of the strategy and your level of control. But the end result – a strategy tailored to your needs – is worth the effort.

Begin by reviewing your current situation, which includes your assets, liabilities, net worth, income needs and sources of income, as well as any previously drafted estate-planning documents. There is no “one size fits all” strategy, so be sure to work closely with an estate-planning attorney and a tax professional, in addition to your financial advisor, to make sure your needs are being met.

Myth: I created a will years ago, so I’m all set.

Fact: A will dictates what will happen in the event of your death. But your chances of becoming incapacitated in a given year are much greater than your chances of passing away – and a will doesn’t cover this. Many people assume their family can just make decisions for them, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Consider working with your estate-planning attorney to create a power of attorney and a living will – and then review these documents regularly to ensure those whom you trust are authorized to make these decisions on your behalf.

While your Edward Jones financial advisor doesn’t provide estate planning or tax advice, we can work closely with your team of professionals to help ensure your financial wishes are carried out.

For more information about estate planning please call 269-345-0783, stop by my office, or visit for more information.

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