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Financial and estate planning mishaps can cost those left behind

Planning for the future is an important step that many people neglect, continuing to put it off for another day. One type of planning that should not be put off is that which pertains to estate administration. It is important to have such affairs in order now, because one cannot know when an estate plan will be needed.

Our readers in Canton may have heard of the tragic case of a man who died of a heart attack and left his family without a source of income. To compound his family's grief of the loss, the man had forgotten to change the beneficiaries of his pension from his parents to his wife and two young children. The pension therefore went to the man's parents. To date, they have refused to transfer the pension to the man's young family.

The man had been married for about 10 years until his death. Therefore, the oversight in changing his pension beneficiaries can likely be attributed to a lack of planning. This tragic case highlights the need for every family, no matter their age, to always be ready for the unexpected and to have their financial house in order.

Estate planning is a necessary step for adults and their families. A well-written will can greatly decrease the possibility of dispute over a deceased family member's estate. Every family needs to make sure that their estate planning is in order to ensure that should the unthinkable happen, those left behind will be properly taken care of to the extent possible.

Source: ABC 7 Action News, "Don't Waste Your Money Makeover: Costly financial mistakes," Feb. 10, 2013

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