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Estate plan may change as new economic realities set in

More people in Nevada and across the country are concerned about leaving large inheritances for their heirs when they die. This may be due to the recent economic recession which saw college graduates returning home due to the inability to find employment and adult children unable to support themselves. These new realities have changed what is important to those who are beginning the estate planning process.

Until the recent economic downturn, it was only important to 3 percent of baby boomers to leave significant funds for their children after death. Now, the number is closer to 19 percent. These boomers may be creating trusts or using other estate planning tools to ensure that there is money for their children after they are gone.

In addition to planning for their heir's future, many in Nevada consider creating health care proxies, living wills and powers of attorney. These documents are intended, in part, to allow an appointed person to make decisions for an individual when they can longer do so for themselves. The decision can be for financial, medical or other matters.

There are many options when creating an estate plan. Understanding the tools available, including wills and trusts, will help decide how best to care for one's family in the future. In addition, a periodic review of an estate plan that is already in place may lessen the chance that the documents no longer reflect the desires of the person who created them. This can be the case if there have been life changes such as divorce or childbirth after the estate plan was created.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Remember to keep estate planning in your retirement-planning duties," Janet Kidd, June 8, 2012

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