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Do I need to name an executor in my will?

Have you ever wondered who will manage your estate and the probate process after you die? If you have close family members, such as a spouse or children, the answer may seem obvious. There are many people, however, who may not be so sure. In such a case, failing to name an executor may place the estate in the hands of someone whom you wouldn't have chosen yourself.

Elder Law vs. Estate Planning

Many people have difficulty describing the difference between what a traditional estate planning attorney offers his or her clients versus what an elder law attorney offers his or her clients. The easy answer is that an estate planning attorney addresses the common issue of what happens to one's assets at death.  In a traditional estate planning setting, much emphasis is placed on minimizing estate taxes, as well as insuring the most efficient and least restrictive means of transferring wealth to others.

When to Update an Existing Estate Plan

Completing an estate plan generally provides individuals with a sense of relief and accomplishment knowing that their wishes and desires with respect to medical and financial decision making, as well as asset distribution are represented in black and white. However, most people take a set it and forget it approach meaning that once their planning is completed, they are under the misconception that it should not be reviewed or addressed at a later date. In a perfect world, estate plans should be reviewed and updated (if necessary) on a regular basis. The following life events or changes in circumstances may require an update of your estate plan:

Why Should I Plan My Estate?

Being in this line of work, I understand that no one wants to talk about their own mortality or the importance of planning for the unexpected.  However, by procrastinating in implementing at least a basic estate plan, you run the risk that your intended beneficiaries may not receive what you would want them to receive; whether due to administration costs, taxes, costs of long-term care or bickering among heirs.

General Durable Power of Attorney - The Most Important Tool in One's Estate Planning Arsenal

General Durable Power of Attorney - The Most Important Tool in One's Estate Planning Arsenal
When someone hears or mentions the term, estate planning, a Will is usually the first thing that comes to mind.  While a will is an important part of a comprehensive estate plan, a power of attorney is generally the most important document one can have in place.

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