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You’ve worked hard over the years to accumulate your wealth and are now glad that your hard work has resulted in a comfortable retirement. But now you may be concerned that after your death, will the assets you leave behind continue to be a source of support for your family, friends, and the causes that are important to you. Without making the proper arrangements now, your estate and how you intended to have it distributed may not happen the way you wish.
By definition, estate planning is a process designed to help you manage and preserve your assets while you are alive, and to conserve and control their distribution after your death according to your goals and objectives.
There are four basis ways to leave an estate: (1) by will, (2) by trust, (3) by beneficiary designation, and (4) by joint ownership arrangements. Which is right for you is not a simple answer and will depend on your particular circumstances. The sooner you plan your estate, the better the results will be.