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Why estate planning should be a higher priority for more Americans

Estate planning - the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate during a person's life - is fast becoming a lost art in the United States.

As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, "estate planning" erroneously conjures thoughts limited to large inheritances and tax shelters.

In reality, estate planning involves more - much more - which is why this process shouldn't be taken lightly by people without vast financial and physical resources to their name. Estate planning is a critically important responsibility for individuals from all walks of life, yet statistics show that more Americans than ever are making the precarious choice to overlook these vital considerations.

"There are many reasons to establish and maintain an estate plan for the benefit of you and your family," say attorneys for York Howell, a firm widely regarded for offering the best estate, tax, business and asset protection planning services in the Intermountain West.

Recently, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based firm published a comprehensive summary of reason to plan your estate. And if it’s something you've been putting off for a considerable period of time, York Howell may be able to help you make this process a higher priority - and for good reason.

According to the report, some of the paramount reasons to plan your estate are:

Control. A properly drafted estate plan allows you to ensure that your estate goes to whom you want, when you want, and the way you want. In addition, you want a plan that can be updated over time to deal with changing circumstances and needs.

Care for Minor or Disabled Children. If you fail to select a Guardian for minor or disabled children, you leave that decision up to the Courts.

Ability to Address Special Circumstances. What if your family is the result of multiple marriages? Without a plan, children from different marriages may not be treated as you would want.

Loss of Capacity. What if you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs? Without a plan, a court will select a person to manage your affairs, which typically involves costly guardianship/conservatorship proceedings.

To review the "Top 10 Reasons to Plan Your Estate" from York Howell, click here.