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Plug Your Nose and Draft a Will!

Old couple with computerAs icky as it can be to think about your own death, estate planning attorneys will tell you that it’s imperative to protect your family and your assets. The Street’s recent article, “Estate Planning Needs to Be on Your Retirement To-Do List,” reminds us that for the most part, everyone needs a will.

Everyone needs to do a review of investments and be certain the beneficiaries on life insurance, IRAs and 401(k) are updated, in addition to transfer on death (TOD) accounts, powers of attorney, and a health care proxy.

Many haven't done estate planning because they’re too busy. Plus, talking about death is not a lot of fun for most of us.

Many folks start to consider their estate planning after experiencing the probate process for themselves with a loved one who has passed away. A parent’s death and going through the process of probating an estate may be a real struggle if there’s no estate plan in place. They don't want to leave the same mess for their children.

Remember, documents also need to be updated. This includes health care proxies, powers of attorney and beneficiary designations.

Estate planning is the smartest way to take care of your family and loved ones. Some will need trusts to help accommodate their children and to ensure they get through college.

Different types of estate planning are needed in different stages of life, as well as different stages of wealth building. More advanced planning should come in the later stages of life when wealth has accumulated.

People generally don't think about estate planning before they get into their 50s and 60s. It’s just how folks think. Younger people are concentrating on making money and their careers.

Planning sooner is always better. And the earlier, the better. Work with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Reference: The Street (Sept. 24, 2016) “Estate Planning Needs to Be on Your Retirement To-Do List”

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