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Estate planning fundamentals: Preserving wealth not just for the rich

Spotlight on Finance

— Estate planning may not sound like fun—most of us don’t like to think of our own mortality—but it is an important and responsible thing to do. So take a few hours to meet with an advisor. They can work with you and your lawyer to address your specific goals and concerns about preserving your wealth. Equally important, a fiduciary advisor can provide you with economic insights and potential legislative impacts to your plan. After all, you’ve worked hard to accumulate an estate. The prudent next step is to develop and execute a plan to protect it.

Fran O’Rourke is senior vice president of Key Private Bank and leads the Private Bank team in the Capital Region. She may be reached at either 518-257-8733 or frances_orourke@keybank.com.

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Nine reasons why you should have an estate plan

Regardless of career and earning power, the reason why most of us work is the same: to have the opportunity to provide a life of comfort for ourselves and those we love. A well-prepared estate plan helps ensure this happens…even if something happens to you. So even if you don’t think you need an estate plan, here are nine good reasons why you should want—and have—one.

  1. It will allow you to keep more of your money and property in the hands of your beneficiaries by minimizing and reducing taxes, liability and other expenses.
  2. It will ensure that your assets are distributed as you intend.
  3. It will allow you to provide for your loved ones in the ways you see fit.
  4. It will allow you to designate the donation of charitable gifts, provided this is important in the distribution of your property and assets.
  5. It can be set up to provide funds to cover your own funeral expenses, as well as any immediate or long-term living costs (in case you become incapacitated).
  6. If you are a small business owner, you can ensure business continuity.
  7. It will allow you to designate the individuals that you want to carry out your instructions and to care for your minor children.
  8. It will help in providing prompt economical and private distribution of your estate.
  9. It will help eliminate the likelihood of family disputes over the distribution of your estate.
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