What You Need to Know About Estate Planning -- Part One: Planning for Lifetime Incapacity or Disability

   Many people today have the misconception that only wealthy families need to be concerned about estate planning. Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Actually, smaller estates or families with smaller incomes have more to lose from not doing proper planning.  Probate court costs, legal fees, and taxes (both state and federal) can cause heavy financial burdens on families who have failed to plan or have planned inadequately. Most of these problems, however, are avoidable through careful estate planning.  Every household, especially Christian households, should make estate planning a priority. 

   Estate planning can be divided into three phases: (1) planning for lifetime incapacity or disability; (2) planning for the distribution of assets after death, including honoring the Lord with your substance by giving generously to the Lord’s work; and (3) planning for the after-death management of assets on behalf of minor, handicapped, or immature beneficiaries. 

Phase 1: Lifetime Incapacity or Disability 
   In planning for lifetime incapacity or disability, management is the key issue. An incapacitated or incompetent person is one who is unable to manage his medical, legal, financial, or personal affairs. The incompetent person needs someone to step in and manage those affairs for him/her. There are two ways to find a manager: First, through the public prob ...

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