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Estate planning is the systematic process of anticipating and arranging for the management and disposal of one’s assets. However, estate planning isn't truly about things. It's about people. At the heart of estate planning, people aren't as concerned about what happens to their assets, they are more concerned about what will happen to their family.
Even if you do nothing you have an estate plan, just not a very good one. According to one author, over half of the adult population has opted for this approach and done nothing. By not creating your own plan you simply force the legal system to distribute your wealth. Every state has statutes on how to distribute property when a person dies “intestate”, meaning without a will.
When assets are not protected by a Trust, an estate goes through probate. Probate is a public court proceeding where all of your assets are made public. during probate, your probatable assets are frozen and can not be accessed by your family or beneficiaries. It is time consuming, taking months and sometimes years to settle your estate and release your assets to your family.
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