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Estate Planning: It's Not Just About the Taxes!

ECS Article - Mission-Critical Services...Estate Planning

First, EVERYONE has an estate. Your estate consists of everything you own: your car, home, cash, investments, retirement accounts, life insurance and personal possessions. You can’t take them with you so you need to have an estate plan to handle the disposition of your assets. With the estate and gift tax exclusion at $5,340,000 per person for 2014, most taxpayers are not worried about paying federal gift taxes during their lifetime or federal estate tax when they die. However, there is much more to estate planning than taxes. Some of the other estate planning questions that should be considered include:

  1. Who should inherit your assets and when?

  2. Whom do you want to handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated?

  3. Who will be the guardian for your minor children?

  4. Whom do you want to make your medical decisions if you are not able to make them yourself?

To help answer these questions you should at least have a will, a financial power of attorney and a medical p