NerdWallet Article: Estate Planning: A 7-Step Checklist of the Basics

Here’s what estate planning is and 7 things you can do to get started.

Written By: Kay Bell

You don’t have to be rich to need estate planning. Your estate includes everything you own, and it can be any size, which is why it can be worth taking time to plan for what happens to it.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the process of designating who will receive your assets and handle your responsibilities after your death or incapacitation. One goal is to ensure beneficiaries receive assets in a way that minimizes estate tax, gift tax, income tax and other taxes.

Estate planning can help establish a platform you can fine-tune as your personal and financial situations change. The key question to ask yourself is: How do you want your assets distributed if you die or are incapacitated?

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