Estate Planning

Protect yourself and your family with an estate plan

You’re working hard to build up some financial security with investments, your home and personal property. So it only makes sense to work just as hard to protect yourself in the event something should happen to you. So even though the context is tough and the language difficult, it is important to realize that at its core, estate planning is about safeguarding what you’ve worked so hard to achieve—and ensuring that your life’s work winds up in the right hands.

Does estate planning apply to you?

Many of you may be thinking that estate planning doesn't apply to you. And that may be largely true, especially if you're young and healthy and have no children or assets. But as soon as you have a child, or you care about who will inherit your assets, you need an estate plan.

Our hope is that this section will encourage you to get started. And then we suggest that you work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create the best plan for you and your family.

Benefits of an estate plan

An estate plan helps ensure that your money and other assets go to the people you choose. Without a plan, state laws will determine your beneficiaries. On top of that, an estate plan can:
  • Specify who will care for your minor children if you become unable to
  • Defuse potential conflicts over the distribution of your assets
  • Minimize estate taxes and other transfer taxes
  • Avoid the costs, publicity and delays of probate, the court-supervised process used to value your estate, settle any debts, pay taxes and transfer assets to your heirs
  • Help ensure that you and your affairs are taken care of in the manner you wish if you should become incapacitated
Our Two Cents
The moment you become a parent, you need a will—if for no other reason than to specify a guardian for your children in case something happens to you. Don't put this off.


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Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.

The Charles Schwab Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private foundation that is not part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. or its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation.

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