Introduction

Throughout our lives, we plan for one thing after another: education - career - family. But surprisingly few of us plan for our deaths. Maybe we think we are too young to die, not realizing that sometimes things happen unexpectedly. Or perhaps we feel that we don't own much, not understanding that estate plans are important for even the smallest of estates. An estate plan is important because it speaks of your wishes after you have departed, regardless of what you own. It will give you control over decisions such as who receives your property, who will take care of your children, how your business will be run, can help to reduce estate taxes, and can even plan for your care in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. Failure to properly plan for your death gives rise to many risks - your property could end up in the hands of distant relatives, or worse, the state; or it may be given to someone who will squander it; or your children may be forced to live with someone you don't favor. So why not do what you can now and live with peace of mind that at least if the unexpected does happen, you have the final word on what happens with your estate.

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