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What does it mean to preserve your assets?

For most, one of the first thoughts that goes through an individual's mind when they consider estate planning is drafting their will or some other end-of-life document that relays their final wishes. Many don't realize that it also includes making plans for how your minor or special needs children are going to be cared for once you're gone or how you intend to preserve your assets.

There are many reasons lawsuits get filed. If you work in certain professions, then you may be sued for malpractice. If you're involved in a car crash with injuries, then the person who gets hurt may ask you to pay their medical bills. If a tree in your yard falls on someone or something, then you may be sued as well. Insurance can help you pay for many of these expenses, but if you don't have it, then your estate may be affected.

One of the best ways you can protect your assets is by drafting a will. It allows you to clearly spell out precisely who you want to inherit your property when you pass on and how much you want them to receive.

Individuals with substantial assets may also set up a trust in addition to drafting a will. You'll be able to protect some of your assets from being taxed when they're passed on to your heirs by doing so. Depending on the type of trust that you set up, you'll be able to go ahead and earmark certain assets for your beneficiaries while still being allowed to use them to live on in accordance with your preferences while you're alive.

As referenced above, any plans that you may have for preserving your assets should involve you taking out insurance. Business, health, auto, disability, life and homeowners coverage can all serve you well if someone decides to take legal action against you in the future.

While many people think that it's okay for them to draft a will on their own, it opens them up to having it contested. If you try to plan your estate on your own, then you may make choices that aren't ideal if you're looking to preserve your finances for future generations. A Queens estate planning attorney can help you plan for the future so that your loved ones aren't left picking up the pieces once you're gone.

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