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With estate planning, your choice: Plan or let things happen

Talk about a misconception.

One estate planning attorney says what many peers likely agree with regarding a number of first-time clients, namely this: Many of them enter his office with expressed concerns about losing control over their assets once they enter down the planning road.

In fact, the outcome is precisely the opposite, but, for a number of reasons, many people don't appreciate that until they enter into a candid, comfortable and comprehensive conversation with a planning professional.

When that happens, and solid planning emerges that is tailored toward the unique needs of a client, that person is likely to wonder what might have happened in the absence of planning and why engaging the process took so long.

Everyone ages, and most people have hopes of transferring assets to their heirs. Additionally, advancing age brings concerns related to health and the ability to manage financial and other affairs, with the need to have expectations set forth, fully understood by others and carried out accordingly.

As a commentator in a recent media article on the subject notes, “You can either plan accordingly in an efficient and organized manner or just let things happen.”

That latter “strategy” is in fact nothing more than happenstance, and following a path of impassivity will in likelihood lead to money unnecessarily lost to taxes and assets perhaps not being adequately identified and passed along. Additionally, loved ones might be left in the dark concerning the party or parties who should be making decisions in the case of incapacity. Myriad other points of confusion can also exist and remain unaddressed.

It is a fact that people are on average living longer than they did in previous decades. They are also being forced to depend on themselves -- and not their companies or pension plans -- more so than was the case in bygone years.

Consequently, the need for planning is vital for virtually all adults, and encompasses a well-considered estate plan that comprehensively addresses matters across a universe of financial, health and other concerns.

An experienced estate planning attorney can answer questions and centrally assist any individual in creating a tailored plan that makes optimal sense and fully promotes his or her interests and those of loved ones.

Source: Fox Business, "4 tips to begin the estate-planning process," Kathryn Buschman Vasel, Nov. 22, 2013

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