March 1, 2013
Many people are currently in the process of organizing their financial information in preparation for the completion of their yearly income tax returns. If you have kept your records in a scattered and unorganized fashion all year, this can be a daunting task; however, if you have kept your financial information neat and organized, this task is fairly easy to accomplish. The same concept applies to your estate plan. If your estate plan is organized, your affairs can be handled efficiently and effectively should you become incapacitated or pass away. Conversely, if your affairs have not been organized, your family members will shoulder that responsibility should you become incapacitated or pass away.
First and foremost, it is important to have an estate plan consisting, at a minimum, of a Will, Health Care Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney. In addition, if you are a home owner, you should also have a Homstead Declaration, which can protect the equity in your property. A more sophisticated plan, involving one or more Trusts, may be in order if circumstances...
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by: Gina M. Barry