Wills and Estate Planning

Estate Planning Basics - What Can An Estate Plan Help Me With?

Don't let the term 'estate planning' fool you. You don't have to be wealthy to need a plan. If you have assets and you want to control where they go when you pass on, you need an estate plan.

Estate Planning Basics: What are the Benefits?

Many people think that estate plans are only for the rich and famous. The fact is, nearly everyone can benefit from having an estate plan in place.

What exactly is your estate?

Your estate is comprised of everything you own - your home, vehicles, checking and savings accounts, life insurance, investments, and other personal possessions. No matter how large or small, everyone has an estate and something else in common - you can't take it with you when you die.

After you're gone, do you want to make sure that the instructions you've left behind are carried out according to your wishes? What about certain possessions that you'd like to see in the hands of a loved one? And what about ensuring that the people you care about the most receive certain assets with the least amount of taxes, legal fees, and court costs? A good estate plan can include all of these things, as well as:

  • Providing for family members with special needs without disrupting their government benefits
  • Final expense life insurance, provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income in the event you are unable to work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury
  • Instructions for passing on family heirlooms and other valuables
  • Medical directives for your care if you become disabled or are facing an end of life situation
  • Naming a guardian for your minor children
  • Provide for the transfer of your business at your disability or death
  • Help minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees that may be associated with probate

Most importantly, your estate plan should be an ongoing process and not a one-time event. Be sure to review and update your plan as your family and financial situations (and laws) change. For more information on estate planning basics, visit the Protective Learning Center.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Estate Planning Basics

Estate planning basics include understanding what an estate plan can do for you. This article outlines some estate planning basics and the many benefits associated with having an estate plan in place. For more information, visit our learning center.