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Important factors concerning estate planning

While many New York residents may not have a $300-million-dollar estate like the late singer Prince, it is a good idea for adults to prepare a legal will. Wise estate planning greatly benefits family members who have an outline of their loved one's exact wishes. It can also help family members avoid conflicts, costly probate and high fees involved in trying to settle their late loved one's estate.

Besides a will, there are estate planning tools people can use to assist them with how their assets will be distributed. Once beneficiaries are chosen, a person could set up a trust fund that distributes the assets in a certain manner. For example, a trust fund can be set up to give a person's children a certain amount of money every five or ten years after they become adults, instead of the children receive a large lump sum at once. This method can help children handle the money more responsibly. Estate planning further involves naming an executor who will take charge of the estate after the testator dies, as well as a power of attorney and an advance health care directive.

Successful estate planning also involves taking an inventory of liabilities and assets. This can help people not only with learning their net worth but also with getting a full understanding of what comprises their entire estate. Issues such as a family-run business, life insurance policies and particular assets may need special provisions.

When dealing with these types of matters, many people seek the assistance of an experienced attorneyin drafting estate planning documents. An attorney could explain ways to minimize estate tax burdens on a person's heirs as well.

Source: Investors, "5 Must-Do Tips For Your Will And Estate Planning", Lawrence Carrel, Feb. 24, 2017

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