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Estate planning can protect an individual's social legacy

Not everyone approaches estate planning with the focus of passing down accumulated wealth to their children and grandchildren. In many cases, Philadelphia residents have spent a lifetime building their business or creating a body of creative work, and wish to preserve that legacy for the future. Even in the absence of a child or grandchild who is able or willing to take on those responsibilities, it is possible to structure an estate planning package that will allow one's work to live on, even after they have passed.

A prime example is found in the life and legacy of Alfred Nobel. Father of the Nobel Prizes, the inventor, chemist and engineer was the mind behind the invention of dynamite, a product that made him a very wealthy man. After public opinion turned against him for creating a substance that could destroy human lives so easily, Nobel sought to change his legacy, and his estate plan funded the Nobel Prizes. In the 120 years since his death, the name Nobel has become synonymous with acknowledging great achievement in science, technology, world peace and literature.

Estate planning allows individuals to funnel their accumulated wealth into a channel of their choosing. Whether it is a college scholarship fund, a trust set up to support a favorite charity or even a gift of art to a school or museum, estate planning offers a path by which wealth can be put to good use. In addition to these benefits, proper estate planning can also have a range of benefits during one's lifetime, in the form of tax savings and other financial advantages.

In order to create a comprehensive plan that will accomplish a wide range of goals, it is necessary to begin the estate planning process early, and to review and revise periodically. A Philadelphia estate planning attorney can help guide individuals through the available options and work out a solution that is in line with the desired outcome. It is never too early to begin thinking about the legacy that one will leave behind and putting those goals into an actionable plan.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Things Estate Planning Can Do for You and Your Business", Kc Agu, March 31, 2016

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