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An important part of financial planning is estate planning

An important but unspoken aspect of financial planning and savings is estate planning. While no one wants to concentrate on death, it's even worse to leave nothing behind for an already devastated family.

The first document you need is a will or trust. Without one, your assets will be divvied up according to the laws in your state. Having this foundation allows you to have some control over your assets and can save money in probate costs and estate taxes. If you have children, the will or trust can set up guardianship. The benefit of this is that you determine who will raise your children eliminating any nasty litigation and preventing a court from making the decision. The guardianship can also include how you want them raised such as growing up in accordance with a special religious background, attending private school or the ability to travel.

The next step is securing a retirement account and insurance policy. It is essential to sit down with your provider to determine who the beneficiaries should be. This will allow your wishes to be fulfilled while preventing those assets from going through probate and incurring taxes.

The goal for a proper estate plan is to retain the utmost control of your assets during your lifetime, providing for your loved ones and saving unnecessary taxes. The best estate plans incorporate a variety of tools to accomplish this goal. This is why it's important to seek a professional's advice so that your estate plan is tailor-made to suit your particular situation.