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Including life insurance in an estate plan

Life insurance can be a tool for people in New York to help them plan for the future. As the youngest members of the baby boomer generation will turn 55 in 2019, many are turning their thoughts to estate planning, including how to pass on their property to their loved ones after they are gone. Life insurance can help people transfer wealth and plan for the future on multiple levels. According to some studies, 42 percent of baby boomers don't have an estate plan in place. Many more who do have wills in place have not reviewed the documents in years.

In fact, baby boomers collectively represent the wealthiest single generation in the country's history with over $30 trillion in assets. If people do not plan for the future, however, a portion of that property could be lost to fees and other otherwise unnecessary expenses. Life insurance can be important for several reasons, particularly the access to cash it provides even while a person's estate is going through the process of distribution.

Perhaps most obviously, life insurance enables loved ones to handle final expenses, including medical bills and funeral costs. Bringing the person's estate to probate can also have extra costs, including attorney's fees, accountant expenses and court costs, especially if the estate is large or complex. Life insurance can allow those fees to be paid while the estate is still held up in probate. Funds from an insurance policy could pass free of income taxes, an additional benefit.

People who are thinking about how to provide for their loved ones after they pass way may want to include life insurance as part of their overall plan. An estate planning attorney may be able to help people develop an overall vision and create key documents to make it a reality.

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