Estate planning explained

Estate planning is the process of arranging for an orderly transfer of your assets to the people you want to receive them.

Estate planningEstate planning The plans you make to build and manage wealth for your lifetime and thereafter. Goals may include leaving the most money possible to your loved ones, with the least amount of taxes. Other goals may include caring for children, paying off debt or passing on a business.+ read full definition involves identifying who you want to give your assets to and when (during your lifetime, at death or sometime after death).

Your estateEstate The total sum of money and property you leave behind when you die.+ read full definition plan may also include:

  • ways to meet the financial needs of your family members if you die or become incapable of managing your affairs,
  • steps to minimize taxes that you or your estate might pay, and
  • a plan to sell or pass on your ownership stake in a business.

Documents commonly used in estate planning

A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan, but your plan may also include:


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