General information

According to the Legal Information Institute, estate planning is the process by which an individual or family arranges the transfer of assets in anticipation of death. An estate plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for the intended beneficiaries and flexibility for the individual prior to death.

An estate is the total property (real and personal) owned by an individual prior to distribution through a trust or will. For example; cars, homes, land, household items, and bank accounts. Estate planning distributes the real and personal property to an individual's heirs.

Wills and trusts are common ways in which individuals protect and transfer their wealth. Trusts, unlike wills, have the benefit of avoiding probate, a lengthy and costly legal process that oversees the transfer of assets.

Preparing in advance for the end of your life can be very helpful for your family members and can help make sure your wishes are carried out.

  • Planning for death from Legal Voice
  • 'Wonderfile' from End of Life Washington that can help you organize all of your end-of-life documents. It includes all the necessary forms, instructions, and resources you need to record your end-of-life wishes.

Free eBooks about estate planning

Estate Planning basics book cover

How to find estate planning eBooks

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