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Estate planning important at any age

Like people everywhere, Nevada residents don't like to think about dying. But any adult, regardless of age or financial means, should have an estate plan in place. This will help to ensure their final wishes are carried out.

Estate planning makes it easier for those left behind to cope with the details involved with a loved one's death. Often times when the deceased did not leave a will, family members squabble over dividing up the assets. Estate planning can help a person set financial goals for their life in terms of where they want to be financially at the end of their life. Planning for death is not a do-it-and-forget-it affair. Documents may need to be updated to reflect life's changing circumstances, such as marriage, the birth of children or a spouse dying first. These events also are a good time to review financial planning.

Estate planning generally starts with a will, something only about 50 percent of Americans have, according to many surveys. Other documents include a living will or advance directive, which spells out how a person want to be treated medically in case of irreversible injury or terminal illness. A power of attorney allows people to name trusted individuals to handle their financial affairs in the event they become incapacitated and unable to do so themselves.

Generic do-it-yourself estate planning kits aren't always the best way to handle affairs. While they may work for some, it's too easy to make mistakes regarding important decisions and the law. The more complex an estate is, the more that legal guidance may be required. An estate planning attorney may be able to explain these and other documents needed and then help with their creation.

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