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Kick Off Your Estate Planning

It's almost time for the Super Bowl and Tom Brady and Nick Foles have their game plans in place. What about you, though? Do you have your estate plans in place for your big game?


Are you young and healthy? Maybe you're married and/or have children. You might own your residence. You're in the first quarter of your estate planning. It's time to huddle with an attorney to begin to write your Will and other appropriate documents. If something happens and you don't have a Will, the state will decide who gets your property. And if your spouse or children don't receive their inheritance, that would be a penalty.


Maybe you're a little older. You've accumulated more assets and visits to the trainer are becoming more common. You might be in a second or third marriage. It's time to take the estate planning ball and run with it. Now is the time to protect your assets by working with your attorney to create an estate plan to keep your property and finances secure.

You'll also want to create a Power of Attorney for your healthcare and finances. A Living Will spells out the kinds of medical care and treatment you prefer should you become terminally ill and unable to communicate your wishes. Without it, your family may not know your preferences or, if they do know, they may not be able to implement your wishes. Durable Power of Attorney gives another trusted person the power to enforce actions on your behalf regarding financial and medical decisions, should the need arise.


It's time to grab some wings, sit back and enjoy the show (and who doesn't like Justin Timberlake?) but time marches on and you don't want to fumble your future.


The game is half way over. Review your estate plans. Ask yourself, "Did something change?" Maybe you have a new grandchild or a change in assets. Now is the time to meet with your attorney to make sure your Last Will and Testament reflects your current wishes. Don't forget to include instructions so your loved ones know your preferences -- burial or cremation, which funeral home and cemetery, or what to do with ashes, for example.


There's no time to waste as you go into the two-minute drill. You'll want to consider your options in terms of future care. An estate planning attorney can help you plan for the possibility of long-term care. You may need to gather the whole team -- your attorney, financial planners, insurance company and funeral director -- to make it simple and seamless for you to insure the integrity of your estate.


With proper estate planning, you can ensure your family and loved ones are the winners, alleviating them from undue stress and strife after your passing.

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