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Questions to Ask When Drafting an Estate Plan

March 19, 2018
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Because you’ve worked hard to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for your family, you’ll want to ensure that you have a sound financial plan that includes trust and estate planning. With some forethought, you may be able to minimize gift and estate taxes and preserve more of your assets for those you care about.…

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Selecting an Executor

February 13, 2017

What is an executor? An executor is a personal representative who acts for you after your death. You nominate or designate an executor in your will to settle your estate. The person chosen will act in your place to make decisions you would have made if you were still alive. The probate court has final…

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Women and Estate Planning Basics

December 31, 2015

When it comes to estate planning, women have unique concerns. The fact is that women live an average of 4.8 years longer than men.* That’s important because it means that there’s a greater chance that you’ll need your assets to last for a longer period of time and a greater need to plan for incapacity.…

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Charitable Giving

December 22, 2015
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Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy cannot only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the amount of taxes your estate may owe when you die. There are many ways to give to…

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Wills: The Cornerstone of Your Estate Plan

February 10, 2015

If you care about what happens to your money, home, and other property after you die, you need to do some estate planning. There are many tools you can use to achieve your estate planning goals, but a will is probably the most vital. Even if you’re young or your estate is modest, you should…

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Settling an Estate

January 20, 2015

What is settling an estate? Definition of estate When people die, they usually leave behind money and other things of value (assets). In addition, they may have auto loans, mortgages, and other outstanding debts (liabilities). Together, the assets and liabilities left by a decedent are known as the estate. Settling an estate means that someone…

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Leaving a Legacy

December 5, 2014

You’ve worked hard over the years to accumulate wealth, and you probably find it comforting to know that after your death the assets you leave behind will continue to be a source of support for your family, friends, and the causes that are important to you. But to ensure that your legacy reaches your heirs…

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Members of the Military: Estate Planning

August 18, 2014
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Whether you’re a veteran or just starting out in the military, planning and preparing your estate is of vital importance. Why is estate planning so critical? Because, at your death, you leave behind the people you love and all your worldly goods. Without proper planning, you have no say about who gets what, and more…

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Key Estate Planning Documents You Need

December 3, 2012
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There are five estate planning documents you may need, regardless of your age, health, or wealth: 1. Durable power of attorney 2. Advanced medical directives 3. Will 4. Letter of instruction 5. Living trust The last document, a living trust, isn’t always necessary, but it’s included here because it’s a vital component of many estate…

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Understanding Probate

May 21, 2012
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When you die, you leave behind your estate. Your estate consists of your assets–all of your money, real estate, and worldly belongings. Your estate also includes your debts, expenses, and unpaid taxes. After you die, somebody must take charge of your estate and settle your affairs. This person will take your estate through probate, a…

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