Is estate planning an act of love?

Valentine's Day might be over, but showing love happens all year long. Rather than giving out flowers and chocolates, people in Lake Charles can show their love through something else -- estate planning. In fact, estate plans are actually perfect for doing so.

Most people are probably familiar with the idea of the "I love you" will even if they are not familiar with the name. This is a simple and straightforward will that makes sure all property goes to a spouse, children or some combination of both. While it might not account for things like taxes, it is certainly a good way for someone to demonstrate just how much he or she cares for loved ones.

When a person's estate might be subject to either federal or state estate taxes, a simple will is not enough. After all, it is pretty hard for a person to demonstrate his or her love while also leaving family members to deal with complicated estate taxes. A better approach might be to use trusts, which can effectively minimize estate taxes and protect inheritances. Lifetime gifting can also be an appropriate choice for some people.

Estate planning is generally not regarded as a gesture of love, and of course, in many ways it is not. But just by thinking about how to include loved ones into this sometimes complicated process can actually make it one of the best expressions of love to leave behind. Lake Charles residents who are wondering how to stretch Valentine's Day love to the rest of the year should consider the role their estate plans can play in that process.

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