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There are many misconceptions about estate planning. It is valuable to address some of those misconceptions so that people can plan their estates with a clearer understanding about what is involved.

Is estate planning only for people with high net worth?

No. Many people hear the word “estate” and presume that it only applies to people with mansions, limousines and multi-million-dollar net worths. However, estate planning is needed by everyone who may leave loved ones behind when their days on Earth conclude. Estate planning allows you to ensure that your husband, wife or children are provided for after you’re gone.

What else does an estate plan accomplish?

An estate plan can name guardians for your children and make arrangements for their care and education. It can also transfer property and other material items in a tax-efficient manner to your heirs and to organizations that you want to benefit.

Can an estate plan address end-of-life matters?

Yes. Your estate plan can detail the kind of care that you want to get if you become so incapacitated by illness or injury that you are unable to communicate your wishes. You can also establish the kinds of care that you want to refuse. Funeral arrangements can also be detailed, ensuring that those arrangements are as you want them to be without undue financial burden on your heirs.

What about preventing an ex from getting the money?

Many people neglect to change beneficiary designations after a divorce. Doing this is a critical part of estate planning. After all, you want to make it clear on paper that your ex is not to get any benefits that you don’t want them to have. When you plan your estate with your attorney, you can have them help you designate all of your assets for the people you care about.