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Help your heirs avoid probate through proper estate planning

When you pass away, leaving a comprehensive estate plan can help to make dealing with your estate much easier for the people you leave behind. There are several purposes of a comprehensive estate plan that you should consider prior to making the decisions about how to complete these estate planning documents.

One of the main benefits of having a comprehensive estate plan is allowing your heirs and beneficiaries to avoid probate. By avoiding probate, you might be able to save them time and money. Your assets could likely be distributed in a timely fashion.

Another benefit is that you might be able to help reduce, or possibly eliminate, any estate tax that your heirs would have to pay. This means that your heirs could get more out of your estate.

By completing a will, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. This means that you can fulfill charitable intentions, care for any children or dependents you leave behind and give gifts to those you choose.

Including a durable power of attorney for financial matters enables you to decide who will care for your finances if you become incapacitated. This means you have someone to pay your bills and care for your assets if you can't do these tasks yourself.

Adding a durable power of attorney for health care and living will enables you to let your wishes for medical care at the end of your life be known and followed. The living will spells out your specific wishes so that doctors and family members know what you want. A durable power of attorney appoints someone you trust to make your health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

Compiling comprehensive estate planning documents and updating them periodically allows you to remain in control of your estate. Getting answers to any questions you have about these documents prior to completing them is vital to ensuring that your wishes are properly conveyed to those you leave behind.

Source: Credit.com, "The Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Make" Kelly Trageser, Apr. 01, 2014

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