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Overcome your fears when putting together an estate plan

There are so many scary elements to putting together your estate plan. People have fears about a number of things, and we've talked about a number of them over recent weeks.

Choosing an heir is a difficult and challenging proposition, even though it may seem like a straightforward and obvious choice. There are tax issues that you need to consider before finalizing your estate plan. And on top of it all, there are life events that may change the way you want your estate plan put together. This requires you to go back in and make alterations to your estate plan, which isn't as easy as it may sound.

And while certain fears may be more widely accepted and upheld as truly "scary," there is one that may be keeping people up at night more often than you would think: the ol' heir problem.

For example, you would think that immediate family members would be the instant choice as heirs. However, what if you and your spouse aren't getting along and you think a divorce could be on the horizon? What if your son or daughter has had a tough time in their life and they have resorted to drug use or excessive drinking? What if another heir you are considering has serious health issues?

Depending on your circumstances, and the circumstances of your prospective heirs, you will need to tailor your estate plan accordingly. This isn't the easiest task to complete on your own, so you should consult with an attorney that has experience dealing with the legal ramifications of an estate plan.

Source: Forbes, "Estate Planning Fears That Keeps Us Up At Night," John E. Girouard, Oct. 29, 2014

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