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Establishing an estate plan


Most Kent area residents know how important an estate plan is, but making an estate plan can be a hard topic to discuss. No one really wants to think about their inevitable death and what will happen to their assets. But, by creating an estate plan, that may include a will, a person can have the peace of mind that the person's wishes will be honored.

An estate plan often involves many legal documents. These can include a will, trust, living will, power of attorney and beneficiary designations. Before an estate plan is created there are certain things that a person may want to think about. One thing that a person should consider is who they want to make important decisions if they become incapacitated. A person should also think about healthcare interventions and values and what they would want to have done to them.

Second, if the person is married, they should consider their spouse. If they pass away should everything go to the spouse? And if it is a blended family it is very important to document how assets should be distributed among a spouse and children.

Additionally, if there are children who are minors, a legal guardian should be established. A trust may also need to be established for their children's needs in the future. And if the person does not have a spouse or children, they should think about who should receive their assets. Will they go to a charity, another family member, church or other organization?

A legal professional skilled in estate planning can help a family work through these questions and create an estate planning that is as unique as they are. They have the experience to know what needs to be addressed and how an estate plan can help the family establish peace of mind.

Source: fdlreporter.com, "Easing the burden: How to begin estate planning," Isabell Mueller, March 27, 2016

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