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Estate Planning - Purpose Of Estate Planning, The Estate Planning Process, Prevalence Of Wills, Trusts, Federal Estate And Gift Taxes

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The property and property rights a person owns are considered his or her estate. Estate planning can be defined as thinking about and developing a plan for the acquisition, conservation, use, and ultimately the disposition of one's estate. However, estate planning is even broader, in the sense that it involves people as well as property. Some of the most powerful motivations for estate planning arise out of concern for family members and other people who are important in a person's life.

Everyone, in fact, has an estate plan—whether or not it results from planning. People make decisions and take actions throughout their lives that affect what assets they will acquire, how much they will acquire, how many of those assets they will retain at the end of their lives, and how those remaining assets will transfer to their heirs upon their death. Estate planning seeks to bring order to what might otherwise be a haphazard process of managing one's estate.

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