Estate Planning Basics

Learn the essentials around planning and protecting the future for your family and loved ones.

Financial planning: The basics

Financial planning isn't just for the rich. It's for everyone, young and old, and the best time to get started is now, beginning with these basic…

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What you can learn about estate planning from Aretha Franklin

What's one thing you can do to reduce the odds of family squabbles after your death? Have an estate plan prepared to make clear your wishes regarding…

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Contingent beneficiary vs. primary beneficiary

One of the best ways to make sure your assets are handled according to your wishes is to designate both primary and contingent beneficiaries. Learn…

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How to write a codicil to a will

You can amend your will with a written codicil, but it's not always a good idea.

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What is a quitclaim deed, and when to use a quitclaim deed?

A quitclaim deed is a fast way to transfer ownership of property, but there are specific occasions where a quitclaim deed is warranted because it…

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5 reasons to open an estate account

Here are five reasons why it's much better for your executor to administer your estate using an estate account.

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Pros and cons of a qualified personal residence trust

A qualified personal residence trust, or QPRT, can provide estate and gift tax savings, but they also can be complicated to set up and maintain.…

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Using an intentionally defective grantor trust to protect your assets

An intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) is an estate planning tool that can help preserve your assets for your beneficiaries. Get the details…

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What makes a will invalid

Because your will is your final act, you want to make sure that it is valid so that your wishes are carried out. Avoid these common pitfalls to…

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When and how to Use a HIPAA form in your estate plan

A HIPAA authorization form lets you choose who can have access to your private medical information. Learn how to obtain and use this form as part of…

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