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Six Reasons to Plan Your Estate

When talk turns to taxes, most people think income tax. Yet for many people, estate taxes may be the largest tax expense they’ll ever face. With estate tax rates currently running as high as 55%, your estate could be worth less than half of what you think. To put it another way, without proper planning, you could lose more than half of what you've spent a lifetime building to estate taxes. We can provide you with information for various alternatives for passing on your estate.

Estate planning is an easy thing to put off. Maybe you think it’s too early; maybe you think your estate is too small. Here are six good reasons why you should plan your estate now:

With a Plan Without a Plan
You decide who receives a share of your assets. State laws determine who inherits your assets - they could pass to an estranged relative.
You decide how and when your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance. The terms and timing are set by law. Your children could be left unfettered control of a sizable estate.
You decide who will manage your estate (executor, trustee, etc.). The court appoints administrators - whose ideas may not be compatible with your own.
You can reduce estate taxes and administrative expenses. Costs are usually greater, due to required administrative expenses and unnecessary taxes.
You select a guardian for your child. The court appoints a guardian for your child.
You can provide for the orderly continuance or sale of a family business. Financial loss and family hardships may result from an untimely, forced sale.

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First Commonwealth Advisors is a registered trademark of First Commonwealth Bank for investment management, trust and fiduciary services and for investment advisory services provided by First Commonwealth Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisory affiliate. Certain insurance products are offered through First Commonwealth Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance affiliate. Securities, insurance products and certain other advisory services are offered through Essex National Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and an SEC registered investment advisor. Essex is not affiliated with First Commonwealth Bank.