Estate planning

Prepare a legacy for what matters

What is an estate plan?

An estate plan serves to provide written instructions on what you want to happen to your possessions and the individuals you would like to receive them after your passing. Everyone owns an estate—from your car to your home to your bank accounts to your furniture—everything you own is included in your estate.

While no one is eager to plan for what will happen after their death, these conversations in your family are critical in leaving the legacy you desire.

A financial professional walks through this process with you, helping you outline your desires for your assets after you’re gone and encouraging or facilitating communications with loved ones, so when the difficult time comes your family has it a little easier.

Terms to know


A legal document that transfers property at death as specified. It names an individual (executor or personal representative) to administer the estate.

Living wills and medical directives

Documents that establish medical scenarios where life-sustaining medical treatment is either wanted or unwanted. Specific medical instructions may be included, such as whether you want certain life-prolonging measures.

Power of attorney

A document that gives another person the legal right to manage either some or all of your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. This can include health care or financial decisions.


A legal arrangement that involves three parties: the grantor, the beneficiary, and the trustee. This specifies the management and distribution of your property, as well as how and when it will be distributed.

Who needs an estate plan?

Estate plans are for everyone, not just the wealthy.

While those with a higher net worth do have a great need for estate planning, individuals of modest or lower income are also strongly encouraged to plan ahead in order to preserve their legacy and retain assets for their loved ones.

You can start estate planning early in life.

Older individuals may think more often about preserving their estate, yet by starting the process earlier in life, you can rest easy knowing that you have a plan in place should anything happen to you.

It covers more than your passing.

Estate planning is commonly linked to planning for one’s death, but it also includes what would happen in the case of a debilitating illness or injury. An estate plan can provide written instructions for the wishes of the individual. It can relieve the family or loved ones from making difficult decisions during an already challenging time.

Getting started

Our financial professionals can help facilitate the creation or an update of your estate plan by following the steps below:


Your financial professional will work with you to determine your estate planning objectives alongside your current financial situation. They will actively work with your tax and legal professionals to develop recommendations to suit your objectives and goals.

Once all this information is determined, your financial professional, in conjunction with your tax and legal professionals, will present the estate planning strategy recommended for you.


Your financial professional can continue to assist and advise you on changes that occur throughout your lifetime. If you need to change any elements of the plan, they will be there to guide you through and coach you on communicating changes to your family.

How we can help

With the right guidance and active assistance, you can obtain a sense of security in knowing that your legacy is protected. North Star Resource Group has over 160 financial professionals serving clients nationwide.

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For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.