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Most Americans find estate planning confusing

Estate planning is a wise financial decision for those of any income level. Estate planning is for all parents, homeowners and business owners who want their children, home and/or business protected.

Unfortunately, this is unknown to 74% of respondents that took part in WealthCounsel’ s report studying how Americans view estate planning, its benefits and limitations. That 74% found estate planning more confusing than anything else, while 49% agreed that they don’t have enough assets to worry about an estate plan. A cited above, those 49% have been misguided.

What areas of estate planning need better explanation?

Health and family; courts and conflict; and business and tax implications are the most misunderstood areas of estate planning.

  • Health and family: According to the study, two prevalent concerns, are that over 70% of respondents believe a well-prepared estate plan would help themselves feel secure as a spouse and/or parent, but only half of them knew that an estate plan can be used to assign a guardian to a minor. Also, 58% of baby boomers and only 24% of millennials knew estate plans are a tool used to authorize healthcare directives.
  • Courts and conflict: Legal disputes surrounding estate plans and wills aren’t only emotionally damaging for a family but can also be very expensive. 35% of those surveyed had either personally experienced or known someone who was part of an estate-focused legal dispute, and most of the respondents were everyday “not ultra-rich” Americans. The study shows that people would like to limit familial conflict, as 53% of those who created an estate plan did so specially for that purpose.
  • Business and tax implications: Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) believed that they would me ore apt to pursue creating an estate plan if it would help lower their taxes. Good news, it can. A properly composed estate plan achieves tax reduction and/or elimination, among other goals, like help with charitable giving and aid the transfer of a business. Business transfers are common among those who create estate plans and want to keep their business in the family for years to come.

All said and done, Americans are right, estate planning is confusing, which is why contacting an attorney with deep knowledge of the subject can only help you with the process. Jump ahead of the curve and create an estate plan to feel more secure than 53% of Americans who wish they would have already done so.

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