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Estate Planning

The Importance of Estate Planning

A will is an important and essential gift that we can leave for our loved ones. A will allows us to make important decisions, while living, that ensures that our estate plan will be carried out in accordance with our wishes and determinations.

family under an umbrella

An Estate Plan is Essential for Everyone

It is recommended that all individuals, regardless of current age or life stage, complete an estate plan. The makeup of an estate includes such items as a home, cars, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, retirement plans, business interests, furniture, and collections. It also includes making decisions about the care of minor children and determining personal wishes regarding critical care medical treatment and health care directives. An estate plan allows you to:

    •  Provide for your family if you die prematurely

    •  Decide who will raise your minor children

    •  Ensures your worldly possessions are distributed as you wish

    •  Decide who will handle your affairs if you become incapacitated

    •  Estate Planning Brings Peace to Families during Times of Grief and Loss

    •  Advanced estate planning can be used to perpetuate family values and protect assets
       for the benefit of future generations.

    •  Relieves the burden of trying to determine "what you would have wanted"

    •  It financially protects your family by helping to minimize costs associated with taxes,
       court requirements and legal fees

    •  It helps your family and friends avoid the burden of the bureaucracy and financial
       confusion that often occurs after the death of a loved one

    •  It assists in minimizing risks associated with estate distribution and settlement tasks
       while maximizing the protection and distribution of your assets in accordance with
       your wishes.


Development of an Estate Plan

Depending on individual circumstance, an estate plan could include the development of a will, living trust, living will and/or powers of attorney. A beginning checklist of questions that an estate plan can resolve is provided here. This list is provided as an informational gathering starting point and is not intended to be an exhaustive or all-inclusive listing of the issues and needs that should be considered when developing an estate plan.

Because an estate plan must be individuated to the specific needs, family constellation and financial circumstances of the individual, it is highly recommended that one consult with qualified financial, legal, and tax professionals who specialize in and can assist in the development of an estate plan.

Leaving a Legacy to Charity

Many individuals elect to provide gifts for their favorite charities in their estate plan. This is accomplished through planned giving.

Planned giving is the process of arranging charitable gifts that fit well with your financial and tax situation. In many cases, the right planned gift may enable you to achieve a significant estate or financial planning goal while also making a substantial gift to the National Fertility Support Center. If you are interested in learning how to support the National Fertility Support Center with a planned gift, please visit our planned giving section.


Links to Free Informational Resources about Estate Planning

http://nicep.org/free_info.php  - The National Institute of Certified Estate Planners

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance.shtml

www.usa.gov/Topics/Seniors.shtml

Please note that we are providing this information for your general education only. We are not providing you with legal, tax, or financial planning advice. You must work with a qualified professional adviser to determine how best to plan your own estate. The inclusion of a resource list does not imply endorsement of nor referral to any individual, organization or document plan and is included for informational purposes only.