What is Estate Planning. Four Simple Steps You Should Take To Start One.

By Rob Mccarthy, Jr.

Many people wonder what is estate planning so I've decided to give an answer to this often asked question.

When we arrive at a particular place or season in life often people begin to consider their own mortality. Maybe mom and dad surprise us by speaking about the estate planning they have carried out. Perhaps you discover somebody coping with an unexpected loss of life. Maybe your buddy mentions some thing about a will or trust.

You then decide it’s time. It's time to take action and make an estate plan. According to Wikipedia estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. So estate planning is simply making arrangements to pass your property and heritage along to people you love or organizations that you admired. Passing your property along to others can be done in different ways such as with a will or trust.

While it may not seem like you have an estate large enough to do anything, everybody has items and individuals in their life that they would prefer that their property go to. Certainly, most everybody would rather not have the state control their property upon their passing away or incapacity. Yet this is most likely to happen if you die without a plan.

The state’s standard plan is to give your property to your nearest family members. This may or may not be someone that you don't like so it is certainly not much of a strategy. You may be surprised to learn that your spouse may not actually get all your assets if you die without an estate plan. Also, if you have children, the court may have to oversee any of your money being paid to them, not to mention that your minor children may not be taken care of by the people you would choose. If your estate is probated and not administered through a trust, your property and your bills get written in court documents that are available to the public. So forget about privacy.

The good news is, for most individuals, starting a personalized estate plan is a matter of taking four easy action steps:

Make a list of the major belongings.
Decide who you want to manage your property.
Decide who you want to take care of your children.
Decide who is to get your property and in what proportions.


Rob McCarthy is an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, before the military courts of the United States, before the United States Court of Military Appeals and before the federal district court of Massachusetts. Beside being an attorney, Attorney McCarthy served the United States as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer and as a candidate for the U.S. Congress.


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What is Estate Planning. Four Simple Steps You Should Take To Start One.
Many people wonder what is estate planning so I've decided to give an answer to this often asked ...