Who needs estate planning?

Countless people make the mistake of believing they don’t need an estate plan. After all, only the extremely wealthy have an “estate”… right?

You might be surprised to learn that you have an estate—at least you do if you have:

  • investments,
  • a house,
  • a car, or
  • a savings account.

Don’t have any of those? How about personal possessions? If you have clothes on your back, you have an estate.

We all want to know that our wealth—whether that’s an investment account or a beloved collection of dog-eared books—will go to the right people when we’re gone.

At its most basic, that means having a will that tells your loved ones who should receive which possessions, and when they should receive them. This includes the classic stuff you think of in a will—“my book collection I leave to my brother, the avid reader; my investments, to my husband; my heirloom jewelry, to my daughters” and so on.

But, there’s much more to an estate plan¬†than just “who gets what.” (more…)

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Succession Planning for Your Family Business: Start Preparing Now!

Every owner of a closely-held family business wants to know the business will continue—even thrive—once they’re gone. A well run, well managed family business can provide for you and your loved ones long after you’ve stepped down from its operation. It can even support your family after you’re gone. Most owners I talk to expect that their business will continue long into the future.

The reality, though, is less encouraging. According to the Family Business Institute, only 30% of family businesses survive into the second generation—most often due to a failure in the succession planning process on the part of the business owner. (more…)

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