It is a misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy. While you may not necessarily need complicated trusts or gifting strategies, it is essential that you develop a plan to distribute your assets to your chosen beneficiaries with the least amount of cost incurred. One of the most important functions of a will is to designate guardians for your minor children. Other important legal documents in an estate plan are health care directives and/or Power of Attorney. Health care directives define the medical treatments you do and do not want administered in the event that you fall terminally ill, while the power of attorney gives a specified individual the power to make legal decisions and sign on your behalf.
For business owners and certain professionals, estate planning may also include a review of the legal structures in which you hold your assets. Frequently, it is possible to optimize these arrangements to not only reduce your income and estate tax liability, but also reinforce your asset protection strategies.