When people think of an "Estate" they might think of a mansion like the one above or a portfolio of assets worth millions of dollars. They believe that estate planning is not necessary unless you have a large estate with lots of assets.
When doing their estate planning, parents always want to be fair with their children. Most often they try to accomplish this by leaving everything to the children in equal shares. While this may seem like a good solution, in practice, it can actually create lots of problems and it can end up be anything but fair.
People often put off their estate planning because they think that it is expensive. But there is a simple strategy that costs nothing and can save you thousands of dollars. It supersedes all other estate planning and even avoids probate. Failure to implement this strategy correctly, however, could end up costing you thousands.
When people think of estate planning, they typically think of who is going to get their stuff when they're gone. While the transfer of assets at death is an important concern, the essence of estate planning about preserving your right to make decisions regarding your care, your children, and your assets, when you can't.
Life insurance is one of the largest assets in a person's estate, so who you designate as the beneficiary of the policy is a major decision (especially since this designation controls over what your will or trust say).