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Estate Planning as a Way to Protect Family and Assets

Thinking about death can be scary for many New Yorkers, which is why many people avoid talking about wills, assets, inheritances and other types of estate planning that have to do with dying. The truth is that not having an estate plan is even scarier. Therefore, instead of thinking of estate planning as a way to deal with death, it is important for people to think of it as a way to preserve assets.

Those who have a spouse and children will likely want them to be cared for. An estate plan does this. Therefore, when estate planning, there are several key things to think about.

For those who are married, the spouse is often the main concern. As such, most people leave all their assets to their surviving spouse, with children often acting as secondary beneficiaries. The surviving spouse can then decide to distribute assets to the children.

Those who own a business have a decision to make. They may want to confer with family member to determine if anyone can and wants to run the business. The decision may depend on the success of the business. If the business is not profitable, then it may be better to sell the business and use the money for more profitable investments.

Those who have no family can still leave their assets to a favorite charity or organization. The person's wishes should be outlined in a will or trust.

Those who die without an estate plan will have their assets distributed according to state law. Although close family members typically get the majority of the person's assets, it may not be what the person would have chosen to do.

Source: The Epoch Times, "Why You Should Consider Making an Estate Plan," Arlene Richards, Jan. 17, 2013