Estate planning is one of the most important steps any person can take to make sure that their final property and health care wishes are honored, and that loved ones are provided for in their absence. Though often overlooked or put off in favor of more immediate concerns, a comprehensive estate plan can resolve a number of legal questions that arise whenever anyone dies: What is the state of their financial affairs? What real and personal property do they own? Who gets what? Does a personal guardian need to be appointed to care for minor children? How much tax will need to be paid in order to transfer property ownership? What funeral arrangements are appropriate? Below you will find a brief overview of estate planning including a definition of basic terminology, where to go to do additional research, and how to find an experienced estate planning attorney in your area.
What is an "Estate"?
Your "estate" consists of all property owned by you at the time of your death, including:
How Can an Estate Plan Help?
Regardless of your age, or the size and complexity of your estate, an estate plan can accomplish the following:
Understanding the estate plan options that are right for you can be a complex undertaking. The resources in FindLaw's Estate Planning Center can help you identify your estate planning needs, recognize potential solutions, and locate an experienced Estate Planning attorney to help you at every step of the estate planning process.
Estate Planning: Additional Resources
If you want to conduct additional research after reading this article, click on the links below. Remember, it is always best to consult with an estate planning attorney before making any major decisions to ensure you are complying with the laws in your state.
Start Planning Your Estate: Get a Free Attorney Match
An experienced estate planning attorney can explain all options available to you in meeting your goals and fulfilling the needs of your loved ones -- whether you need to revise an existing will or create a comprehensive estate plan from scratch. To get started, get a free estate planning attorney match.