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WHY WOULD I EVEN NEED AN ESTATE PLAN…OR AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY?

WHO IS GOING TO FEED FIDO?

It’s important to not think about estate planning as something you do for yourself (or something that can be overlooked). One of the best ways you can show appreciation for your loved ones is to make sure they’re cared for—and that applies to the humans and animals in your life.

WHO GETS YOUR STAMP COLLECTION?

Make sure your valuables, mementos, and family heirlooms are handed down to the right person (or organization) who will really appreciate them. Failing to memorialize your wishes in a comprehensive estate plan with a will and/or trust results in intestate succession—the state’s best guess at what you would have wanted to be done with your things.

DO YOU REALLY WANT A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL WILL?

You’re a unique individual with your own wishes, hopes, and dreams. Should a will that works for a single, 20-something be the same one used for a well-invested grandparent of 12? You’ve worked hard to create the life you have—make sure you trust your planning to an experienced estate planning attorney and not a fill-in-the-blank, cookie-cutter document generator (you know you’ve heard of them) with a final product resembling a Mad Lib game.

“STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” OR “AVE MARIA”?

A comprehensive estate plan can contain your wishes with as much detail as you want, including instructions for your funeral or memorial service. Make sure your family has a chance to remember and celebrate your life instead of placing the burden of arranging final plans—like what song will be playing at your funeral—on your already grieving loved ones.

WILL HE SPEND IT ALL ON LEGOS AND ICE CREAM?

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is protect children and other loved ones from themselves. You might want to make sure that your children are financially secure during their lifetime or that your nephew’s education is paid for. Whatever your goals are, a proper estate plan can put provisions in place to make sure your loved ones are provided for, rather than having their inheritance squandered on a Ferrari, seized by a creditor, or given to an ex-spouse during a divorce.

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