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An Estate Planning Guide: Essential Things to Do

Estate planning is an important process for everyone to consider, as it helps to ensure that your assets and possessions are properly managed when you pass away. Estate planning involves more than just writing a will; it is a comprehensive process that involves making decisions about how your estate will be managed, who will receive the assets and more. It is important to have a plan in place so that your wishes are honored after you are gone. This article will discuss some of the key things to consider when planning for your estate.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of preparing for the transfer of your assets and possessions after you pass away. It involves making decisions about how your estate will be managed, who will receive the assets and other important matters. Estate planning requires you to consider your wishes for your estate and the people who will benefit from it. It also involves making sure that your estate is managed in a way that is consistent with your wishes and goals.

What Are the Benefits of Estate Planning? 

The primary benefit of estate planning is that it allows you to control what happens to your assets after you pass away. By having a plan in place, you can ensure that your wishes are followed and that your loved ones are taken care of. Estate planning also helps to reduce the amount of taxes that your estate may owe, as well as the amount of time it takes to settle your estate. Additionally, estate planning can help to protect your assets from creditors and other claims.

What Should I Include in My Estate Plan? 

When creating an estate plan, it is important to consider all of your wishes and goals. You should include a will that outlines how you would like your assets to be distributed, as well as any other documents that may be needed. You should also consider naming an executor or trustee to manage your estate. Additionally, you should consider discussing your plans with your loved ones, so that they are aware of your wishes. Finally, you should ensure that your plan is updated regularly, as your circumstances may change over time.

More Than a Last Will and Testament

In addition to a will, other documents may be included in an estate plan. These can include a living will, which outlines your wishes for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself; a power of attorney, which allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated; and a trust, which can help to manage assets and minimize taxes. Additionally, you may want to create a letter of instructions that outlines your wishes for the future.

Not sure how to get started? Here is a checklist to follow so you’ll have covered most, if not all, of your bases.

1. Itemize Your Inventory

Before you do anything else, take the time to make an inventory of your possessions, including real estate, personal property, financial accounts, and other assets.

2. Draft a Will

A will is the foundation of an estate plan, and it should include instructions for the distribution of your assets after you pass away.

3. Create a Trust

A trust is a legal entity that can help you manage your assets and minimize taxes.

4. Appoint a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

5. Make a Living Will

A living will outline your wishes for medical care in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.


Estate planning is an important process that needs to be done before one passes away. It is a way to ensure that your assets, liabilities, and wishes are taken care of after you are gone. Estate planning can also be used to protect your family from any disputes that may arise after your death. It’s important to take the time to create an estate plan that reflects your wishes and takes into account any future changes. Estate planning is a complex and sometimes difficult process, but it is essential for those who want to make sure their wishes are properly carried out and their family is taken care of.

If you need an estate planning lawyer in SC, contact Steltzner Law Firm, LLC. We are proud to provide a wide range of transactional legal services to individuals, partnerships, corporations, private investors, and lending institutions.