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More to estate planning than drafting a will

Many people think that preparing plans for their estate is merely a matter of drafting a will. However, this piece of paper alone may not complete the estate planning process for those preparing such plans in Delaware. It is important to regularly review the will, consult with experts and ensure all proper documents and clearances are prepared for an executor.

Key documents beyond a will can vary depending on the person, where the individual lives and what assets exist. One of the documents many Delaware residents who are estate planning should consider is an advance medical directive. Along with a clearly designated power of attorney, this directive will empower people to take actions should the individual become incapacitated. This is important in particular for those with particular wishes should they fall ill or become gravely injured.

Some people may think they are too young to execute these documents. However, in the case of a power of attorney and advance medical directive, it does not matter how much money a person has or what dependents may be living in the household. Accidents can happen to anyone, and proper documents are necessary to make the right decisions in case of  emergency or when the individual passes away.

Wills can also be inadequate when it comes to assets such annuities, life insurance, retirement accounts and jointly-owned property. That is because these assets already have beneficiary designations that would be in place with or without a will. For the many reasons discussed here, meeting with a lawyer to draft or review a detailed estate plan is a good idea for Delaware residents.

Source: Forbes, "7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes", Bob Carlson, Feb. 21, 2018

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