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Failing to have an estate plan can lead to family turmoil

Although many Kent area residents understand the importance of having an estate plan, nearly 60% of Americans have not taken the time to create one. Many people think they don't have enough assets to worry about creating a plan, but there are many reasons why having an estate plan is important.

If a person passes away without an estate plan, the legal system will decide who gets the assets and who will care for the children left behind. In addition to a will, beneficiaries need to be specified on bank accounts, retirement accounts, etc. Healthcare directives should also be considered in the event a person becomes incapacitated and is unable to make decisions for themselves. A healthcare power of attorney can be specified as well as a power of attorney for financial decisions. All important documents should be recorded; recording these documents can be such a blessing for family members who need this information after a death.

Estate planning is not just for you, but also for the family you leave behind. It can help make sure your assets are left in the way you intend. You can leave assets to family, charitable organizations, or any combination thereof. You can also dictate your medical wishes and make sure someone is available to make financial decisions, and name a guardian for your children. All of these decisions are important and can be difficult legal circumstances to work through without a plan.

A legal professional skilled in estate planning can help families create an estate plan for their unique situation. Every family is different and has different needs based on whether they have children, their age, and their assets. But, each family needs an estate plan to make sure what is important to them is protected upon their incapacitation or death.

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