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The basics of estate planning

Estate planning is a process applicable to anyone, and can seem an overwhelming task at first. Planning for the distribution of one's wealth after death is an important part of home ownership and can prove to be a successful and enriching experience.

It is important to first understand the basics of estate planning, and what each legal aspect means when applied to an individual's goals and plans. Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services gives a short and accessible list of definitions to those interested in estate planning. The list includes terms such as beneficiary, or the person receiving benefits provided in a trust, decedent, referring to a person who has died, and fiduciary, or one who is bound by law to act primarily for the benefit of another. The document provided by the MPAS also covers information regarding transfers of property, details of a will, and types of written trust.

The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils is an association that serves estate planning councils and provides resources for clients. The NAEPC helps maintain financial security of individuals through their lifetime, and ensures accurate transfer of property upon death. Because estate planning can apply to both young and old individuals, the NAEPC also founded an educational program that offers information to the general public. Through the program, individuals can learn more about drafting estate planning documents, understand tax implications and special needs trust, and familiarize with other aspects of the estate planning process. In addition, the NAEPC offers a 12-hour program designed to educate individuals in estate planning so they can better protect themselves as well as their loved ones. 

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