11.4 Estate planning

In this section:


Someone feels satisfied after completing an estate plan.

For some, thinking about the end of life seems unpleasant, and planning for it is unwelcome. But if you plan well, you can leave more to the people or organizations that you care about. More important, if you don't plan, you could leave them with costly problems:

  • You may leave your loved ones with less money than they could have had.
  • You may leave them arguing about what you intended.
  • Your wishes may be ignored or impossible to follow.

This section looks at simple steps you can take to achieve your personal and financial objectives after your death. You will explore:

  • simple low-cost steps to reduce costs and taxes following your death
  • when you need to get advice for more complex issues
  • the benefits of wills, powers of attorney and living wills.

You'll review a variety of steps you can take to plan your estate for the benefit of your loved ones. You'll read some case studies about steps young people and seniors took to plan their estates. You'll use a checklist to decide what steps you need to take. By the time you finish this section, you'll be able to choose some steps to take to prepare your estate and decide whether you need to get advice about more complex issues.

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