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The big estate planning battle for many Americans: getting started

There are many key takeaways regarding estate administration that centrally emerge in a recent survey conducted by the estate planning guidance group WealthCounsel.

One of those is that many Americans want to connect with an attorney and get educated concerning their planning needs, yet don't know how to begin to do so.

Another finding: Misconceptions abound regarding estate planning, with some being so material that their holders don't reasonably believe that a planning strategy even makes sense for them.

Consider this: Reportedly, nearly 50 percent of all Americans think that engaging in estate planning is solely an exercise for the wealthiest demographic in the country.

And that "couldn't be further from the truth," states one WealthCounsel principal. In fact, he notes what proven estate planning attorneys routinely pass along to individuals and families who consult with them, namely, that a well-tailored and timely revisited plan can promote critically important goals across a broad spectrum of concerns.

Yes, protecting wealth is obviously important. So, too, though, are things like legacy planning, charitable giving, gifting, taking care of family members' special needs, appointing guardians for children, executing health care documents, creating a financial power of attorney, lawfully minimizing taxes and creating one or more specialized trusts.

And a well-considered and crafted plan can address and respond to all those needs and more.

More than half of the respondents in WealthCounsel's survey cited a difficulty in finding an adviser.

That is a candid and notable admission, and it reasonably points to the importance of taking the initial step of contacting a proven estate planning and tax attorney to discuss estate administration in a preliminary and unforced way.

An experienced attorney welcomes that prospect, and will take the time to ensure that an individual or family feels comfortable and empowered through discussions centered on their personal needs.

Trust is never a given in any legal relationship. A client-empathetic and impassioned estate planning lawyer intimately knows that and will work hard to always promote the best interests of every client.

When a high level of trust and confidence exists in an attorney-client relationship, the resulting candor and strong work ethic of a seasoned attorney can go far toward optimally fulfilling planning objectives.

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