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Making an informed decision, understanding estate planning law

When St. Paul residents are about to make an important decision for themselves or their family, they need to know enough information about the matter to make an informed decision. On occasion, individuals may not know enough about a situation to even understand what they do not know.

In the world of estate planning, individuals may have a general idea about what they want to do with their assets upon their death. The person may be unaware of the consequences of simply distributing their assets in a certain manner, however, such as bequeathing all of their assets to surviving children or grandchildren.

A good example of this is with disability benefits. To qualify for such benefits, individuals who are receiving them must typically meet certain financial limits. If a person's income is too high, they may be disqualified from receiving the public assistance they so desperately need.

Estate planning can play into this, because if a grandparent or parent simply distributes their assets to the disabled person, it could unknowingly burden the disabled person by giving the person a lump sum that might disqualify him or her from the disability benefits.

Accordingly, there is much more than simple wealth protection that must be considered for a person to form an effective estate plan. Individuals should consider all of their goals, and then meet with someone who has the legal expertise to understand the implications and strategies behind a particular estate plan. By doing so, St. Paul residents can ensure they will accomplish their goals, and make the most informed decision they can.

Source: Dallas News, "Everyone needs an estate plan, regardless of wealth," Pamela Yip, May 2, 2014

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