Many fail to see the benefit of estate planning. Some erroneously believe that they do not have an estate; others think the value of what they possess is not sufficient enough to garner estate taxation and do not see the purpose.

With few exceptions, everyone has an estate—even the young child with a custodial account in his name, or the granddaughter who received a lovely piece of jewelry for her 16th birthday.  Estate planning is your personal opportunity to make decisions concerning your assets, finances, and healthcare. Although some individuals narrowly view estate planning as a way to assign their assets to heirs, others see it as a way to perpetuate their legacies.

The bottom line is: if you own something of value, and desire to pass it on to someone else upon your death, you have an estate.

Many are unaware, but your estate plan will be written by the state if you do not prepare one.  The state has one available free of charge, to some degree, if you do not write a will or design a plan of your own.  The plan written by the state is managed by the state, and your estate pays mandatory fees to the state.  In this instance, funds from your estate will be paid first to someone appointed by the court—a stranger—and then possibly to your family.