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Know what points your estate plan must include

An estate plan is something that you need to think about before you get started on the creation. There are a variety of points to consider when you are trying to determine the direction of your plan. In almost all cases, estate plans will include the following points.

First, you need to outline what you want to happen in your final days. These plans are made just in case you are unable to make decisions regarding what types of care you will accept. You can set up a power of attorney, which gives someone power to protect your interests with your medical care. You can also set up documents that outline your wishes, including whether you want resuscitation measures taken and what kind of life supporting measures you are willing to use.

Second, you need to make plans for what will happen to your children if you still have minors at home. Setting up the guardianship designations gives you some power to make a decision about who is going to raise your children if you pass away. Make sure that you file the living will with your primary physician.

Third, you must set up your will. This outlines who is going to get what when you aren't here to use those assets yourself. You might need to add in trusts to help distribute the assets, so think carefully about this possibility.

You can't base your estate plan on what someone else did. Instead, you must consider your own needs. Take the time to think about the goals for your estate plan and get things set up based on those.

Source: Fidelity, "5 steps to create an estate plan," accessed Dec. 07, 2017

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