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Estate Planning

Have you thought about the end of your life and how to handle your assets after you’re gone? Estate planning covers a wide range of important topics, including financial power of attorney, health care proxy, beneficiaries, probate, wills, trusts, executors and estate and inheritance taxes.
Adult daughter hugging her mother while they cook together and discuss a prepaid funeral

How Does a Prepaid Funeral Work?

Prepaying a funeral can help make life easier for loved ones. But how does it work, and is it a good idea?
Elderly couple speaking with a financial professional about what the different types of trusts are

What Are the Different Types of Trusts?

There are different types of trusts, and each has its own rules and benefits. Here's what to consider.
grandfather playing with grandchild

5 Considerations When Leaving Money to Grandchildren

Leaving your grandchild an inheritance can require some careful planning, including how much you want to give and what the tax consequences could be. 
A mature couple discusses their living trust while cooking dinner

What Is a Living Trust?

If you're looking for an alternative to a will, a living trust may be an option to consider.
volunteers take donations on a sunny day in a park and discuss financial advantages of a charitable trust

What Is a Charitable Trust?

Learn how charitable trusts work and find out how they could allow you to provide for your beneficiaries and charitable causes alike.
elderly father walks with his adult son down a path at sunset as they discuss estate executor duties

What Does an Estate Executor Do?

Has a loved one named you as an estate executor? Explore the fundamentals of this critical role, and learn why estate planning is so important.
Family eating outside estate planning for parents how I helped my parents with their legacy

Estate Planning for Parents: How I Helped My Parents With Their Legacy

Estate planning for parents is a touchy — but important — subject. Here's how one woman helped her parents plan for tomorrow.
A multi-generational family in the woods after discussing what to do with an inheritance

What to Do With an Inheritance: A 6-Step Checklist

Financial planning can be challenging after you receive an inheritance. Here are some key considerations to help you get started.
Senior couple riding a bike on a sunny day

Will vs. Trust: How Are They Different & Do You Need Both?

A will is a legal document that outlines how a person's assets will be distributed after their death, while a trust is a legal arrangement where a trustee manages assets for the benefit of beneficiaries, with greater flexibility and potential tax benefits than a will.
Husband and wife enjoying coffee at home discussing a health care proxy vs. power of attorney

What's the Difference Between a Health Care Proxy vs. Power of Attorney?

A health care proxy and a power of attorney have different responsibilities and there are a few reasons why you may want to have both. 
Senior woman leaning on a fence, looking out over a field and wondering is probate necessary

Is Probate Necessary for All Wills?

Here are some of the factors that determine whether it's necessary for a will to go through probate.
Mother and grandmother holding a baby outside and talking about what a spendthrift trust is

What Is a Spendthrift Trust?

A spendthrift trust might help protect an inheritance from overspending and creditors.
Large family sitting on a couch and discussing what happens if i die without a will

What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

If you don't have a will, here are some of the common ways your assets may be distributed without your written instructions.
Multiple generations sitting on a couch discussing estate tax vs. inheritance tax

What's the Difference Between Estate Tax & Inheritance Tax?

Did you know that there is a big difference between estate tax and inheritance tax? Here's some information on both types of taxes.
Man sitting with his dog in a field by a tree line thinking about his estate planning checklist

Estate Planning Checklist: 10 Steps to Help You Prepare

If you're ready to start estate planning, this checklist can help you get the ball rolling.
senior reading thinking about what happens to debt after death

What Happens to Debt After Death?

Understanding what happens to debt after you die may help you put together a better estate plan for your loved ones.
Senior couple meeting in kitchen on laptop discussing estate planning 101

Estate Planning 101: The Basics

Are you unsure where to start with your estate plan, or why you need one? Here are some things to consider.
Senior woman holding her dog in a garden while estate planning for pets

Estate Planning for Pets

What should pet parents know about estate planning for their pets?
Grandparents with end of life planning making juice with their granddaughter in the kitchen

End of Life Planning: 3 Legal Documents to Consider Having

Planning for the end of your life isn't easy, but having these three legal documents may help simplify some complicated decisions for your loved ones. 
daughter and older mother drinking coffee after researching a will

What Is a Will? Why It's Important & Where to Start

A legal will, which must follow certain rules to be binding, is a document that states your final wishes for your money, property and any people under your care after you die.
happy older woman gardening after researching power of attorney

Understanding Power of Attorney 

A power of attorney document could be a good way to help protect yourself from uncertainty. Here is some information on this documentation. 
Senior couple discussing the taxes

The Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax: What You Should Know

The generation-skipping transfer tax was created by Congress in 1976 to close a loophole that allowed individuals to avoid estate taxes. The tax applies to assets given to grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or any younger recipient that bypasses one generation and could trigger a tax liability even for establishing a trust.
group of volunteers lined up arm-in-arm do charity work and take pride in their charitable giving

Want to Maximize Your Charitable Giving Impact? Consider These Strategies

Charitable giving could be beneficial to your mental — and financial — well-being. Learn more about the strategies available to help.