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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Estate Planning / Estate planning an obligation, not an option

Estate planning an obligation, not an option

The message cannot be repeated often enough or strongly enough:

Estate planning is not solely for the well to do. It’s something we all need to do.

“With all the noise in the last few years about taxing the rich and the future of the federal estate tax, the message that ordinary folks also need to plan, to protect themselves and their families, gets drowned out,” according to a recently updated Forbes magazine guide to estate planning . “ Got young kids? You need a will naming guardians for them. Fact is, in today’s rule bound and litigious society, even an 18-year-old college student still covered by his parents’ health insurance needs to sign a health care proxy (a.k.a. health care power of attorney) naming someone to make medical decisions for him, if he can’t, as well as a living will (a.k.a. advance directive) spelling out his view on extraordinary measures at the end of life. Yet a survey last year found 64 percent of baby boomers hadn’t taken the very basic step of signing a living will.”

“The purpose of estate planning is to help us achieve our personal and family goals even after we die; death is not an excuse for disobedience,” notes an article on the website of Brigham Young University. “Estate planning ensures that your wealth will go to those you want it to go to, so you can achieve your personal goals even after you are gone. And you can even significantly reduce the taxes paid to Uncle Sam by proper estate planning, thus ensuring that your heirs get a larger inheritance.”

This is true even for those who don’t regard themselves as having anything remotely like wealth and who don’t view their property and other assets as an estate.

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