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The topic of estate planning is one that I hold near and dear to my heart because it is a concept which is foreign to many people that look like me or those who grew up in neighborhoods similar to the one that I grew up in. It is the catalyst of creating generational wealth. It is a tool that has provided so many people with the opportunity to start a life without debt, to have funding for startup businesses, and to get an education without loans. It is something that I encourage so many of my peers to speak to their parents, spouses, and children about because I know how fundamental it is to providing our lineages with a “head start”. So today I want to focus on the topic of estate planning and things you should consider when desiring to formulate an estate plan.

Estate planning is the act of preparing for the transfer of a person's wealth and assets after his or her death. Think of it this way: it is the plan that you come up with, before death, to determine who will receive your property when you are no longer here to manage and/or benefit from it. Assets, life insurance, pensions, real estate, cars, personal belongings, and debts are all part of what you would consider to be an “Estate”. What estate planning anticipates, is what you would like to be done with your Estate upon death and how you plan to accomplish that objective.

There are some challenges associated with developing a comfortable Estate Plan. Some challenges include having to thoroughly identify which assets you have acquired in your lifetime; strategizing on who you would like to be responsible for disposing of/managing your Estate upon death; and deciding who you would like to benefit from your Estate. To alleviate some of your concerns, I will address some items you should consider before starting the estate planning process.