1. Estate Planning: Introduction
  2. Estate Planning: Estate Planning Basics
  3. Estate Planning: Introduction To Wills
  4. Estate Planning: Other Types Of Wills
  5. Estate Planning: Will Substitutes
  6. Estate Planning: Introduction To Trusts
  7. Estate Planning: Marital And Non-Marital Trusts
  8. Estate Planning: Charitable Trusts
  9. Estate Planning: Estate Taxation
  10. Estate Planning: Life Insurance In Estate Planning
  11. Estate Planning: Health Problems, Money Matters And Death
  12. Estate Planning: Conclusion

by Cathy Pareto, CFP®, AIF®

When most people hear the words "estate planning" they usually think that wealthy individuals are the only ones who need it. But they couldn't be more wrong. Regardless of how much money you have, you need to think about what will happen to your assets and who should receive the things you own after you pass away.

An estate plan can be as simple as having a will and naming a beneficiary for your 401(k), or as complicated as having several trusts for different purposes in addition to your will. Let's explore why you need to think about having an estate plan regardless of the value of your assets.


For basic information on estate planning, read Getting Started On Your Estate Plan.

For more estate planning dos and don'ts, read Six Estate Planning Must-Haves and Top 7 Estate Planning Mistakes.

Estate Planning: Estate Planning Basics

Related Articles
  1. Managing Wealth

    Estate Planning Checkup: When to Update your Estate Plan

    Estate planning is an important piece of an overall financial plan, but it can't be set and forgotten. Life events are going to require you to update it.
  2. Managing Wealth

    4 Reasons Estate Planning Is So Important

    Estate planning isn't fun, but without it, there can be devastating consequences.
  3. Financial Advisor

    Estate Planning Tips for Financial Advisors

    Estate planning is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. Here are some tips for you and your clients.
  4. Personal Finance

    How to Tell if You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer

    Estate planning is an important and often neglected part of financial planning, which can be costly when avoided or done improperly.
  5. Managing Wealth

    10 Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney

    If you want what's best for your spouse and/or children, it's imperative that you ask an estate planning attorney the following questions.
  6. Financial Advisor

    Estate Planning Tips for the Average Client

    Fewer financial assets can lead to bigger issues for families who don't establish an estate plan. Here's how advisors can guide the average client.
  7. Retirement

    Make It Legal When You Retire

    If you haven’t done your estate planning, named a power of attorney and considered your legacy, you still have some pre-retirement tasks to address.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Advising FAs: Explaining Estate Planning to a Client

    As the old saying goes, you can't take it with you. For this reason, it is important to have a current estate plan in place to protect your family and belongings.
  9. Retirement

    6 Ways To Lose Your Estate

    Find out why you shouldn't put off putting your affairs in order.
  10. Financial Advisor

    Estate Planning Tips

    Estate planning requires careful consideration over the course of years.
Trading Center