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Think estate planning is uncomfortable? Your family may disagree

For most people, the thought of aging is not a pleasant one. There are many worries that run through people's heads, chief among them being preferences for medical care and final wishes for when they have passed on. Although uncomfortable, discussing these matters and estate planning accordingly is essential.

Colorado families usually have some big questions after the death of a loved one. Who should take responsibility for carrying out their family member's last wishes? What were those last wishes anyway? What do they want to happen to their assets? Most people would not want their family to have to come up with answers to these questions while they are in the middle of the grieving process.

A comprehensive estate plan can answer all these questions and more. Even a basic estate plan can do the trick. For this, a person needs a will that outlines how they would like their estate to be handled, an advanced medical directive that provides guidance on end-of-life medical care, and a health care power of attorney, which gives someone else the ability to make medical decisions on their behalf if necessary. That is it -- three documents to make surviving family members' lives easier.

Of course estate planning can be much more complicated than this, and some people in Colorado may greatly benefit from other tools, such as trusts, financial powers of attorney and more. However, most people can take their first steps into estate planning with a simpler plan. After doing so, people tend to realize that discussing death and their final wishes is not as hard as they first imagined.

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    • ACTEC | The American College Of Trust And Estate Counsel
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