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March 2019 Archives

Single adults need to have an estate plan in place

Single adults who don't have children might assume that they don't need a will. Without a will, you won't have any say in where your assets go. You also won't be able to name someone to handle your affairs if you are unable to do this due to incapacitation. Even your choices regarding medical care might be up in the air due to your not having an estate plan.

What items are worth selling at an estate auction?

Your last living parent or perhaps another elderly relative whose estate you were chosen to administer has passed away. They never got around to downsizing and decluttering -- something we talked about recently. They've got a home filled with items that go back many decades. Some may have considerable monetary value, while others may only have sentimental value -- and maybe not even that.

Why downsizing is an important part of estate planning

As we progress through adulthood, our lives tend to get bigger -- more kids, then grandkids, a larger house and more possessions. Then we reach a point where we no longer need that big house and all that stuff. The kids are grown, maybe our spouse is gone (through divorce or death). That's when downsizing becomes an attractive option.

What you should know if you're the beneficiary of a trust

Often when people use trusts to leave money to family in their estate plans, they don't designate specific dollar amounts. They will designate that whatever assets are in the trust at the time of their death be divided -- sometimes equally and sometimes not. If you're the beneficiary of a trust, finding out how much you'll receive may take some research -- and patience.

Important estate planning precautions to protect your assets

By having a thorough, professionally-developed estate plan, you can ensure that your affairs will be looked after responsibly if you become physically and/or mentally incapacitated and unable to do so. You also can plan for your assets to be disbursed as you've designated after you're gone.

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