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Who Needs an Estate Plan?

I find that there is a common misconception that only individuals or families with a high net worth need an estate plan, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Simply stated, an estate plan is meant to leave instructions for how you want your personal and financial affairs to be handled when you die or in the event that you become incapacitated before death.  Creating a plan gives you control over decisions on matters such as how your property will be distributed, memorial services or how your remains should be handled, and setting aside resources for loved ones to ensure they are provided for after your death.

Will: Basic Planning Tool of Estate Plan

The basic instrument that is used to coordinate the implementation of your wishes to dispose of your property at death is a will.  I recommend having an estate planning attorney draft your will, although there are other acceptable forms as determined by each state.  Attorneys can help with the accuracy of the will and make sure it is properly witnessed and conforms to the laws of the state.  Wills do not go into effect until death and can be modified or revoked by its maker at any time.

What Does a Will Accomplish?

Once your will is written, it is imperative to review it and your wishes routinely.  Births, deaths and other family changes are frequently the reason to make adjustments to your estate plan.  In my experience, talking about estate planning can initially be uncomfortable, but the process of creating a plan and knowing that your wishes will be carried out can also provide a sense of relief.


Chrissy Canapari serves as Senior Financial Advisor and Manager of Client Services at StrategicPoint Investment Advisors in Providence and East Greenwich. You can e-mail her at ccanapari@strategicpoint.com.


The information contained in this post is not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. StrategicPoint Investment Advisors assumes no responsibility for any action or inaction resulting from the contents herein. Chrissy’s opinions and comments expressed on this site are her own and may not accurately reflect those of the firm. Third party content does not reflect the view of the firm and is not reviewed for completeness or accuracy. It is provided for ease of reference.