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Don't short yourself in your long-term care plan

If you've already lived beyond your third or fourth decade, you've likely established a firm set of beliefs and convictions that will continue to be important to you as you grow older. These issues may include spiritual topics, physical health, or those that concern finances. You have every right to execute a written long-term plan that expressly states your wishes and instructions regarding such matters so your loved ones, doctors and others will know how to care for you if you're unable to care for yourself.

Are you prepared for possible setbacks in probate administration?

When a family member discussed the idea of your becoming his or her estate executor, you may have felt honored by his or her trust in your abilities. After accepting the position, you may not have thought about the situation often but rather regarded it as a responsibility that would present itself sometime in the distant future. However, now that your loved one has passed, you must face your responsibilities as his or her personal representative.

New parent? You may have new needs for an estate plan

Having a child can bring a sense of joy to your life that no other event can. This new life may have you looking at the world and your life in a completely different way, and concerns you may not have had before may begin to feel important. Indeed, with your child's life just beginning, you may begin to think about the possibility of your death and how your child would fare after such an event.

The importance of an estate plan for younger individuals

As a young person, you may not see the importance of an estate plan. To you, it may appear more important once you're in your 40s or 50s, or maybe you feel you don't need one until you have children. The truth is that it's a good idea for any person to have an estate plan as soon as possible.