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Four steps to estate planning

Anyone who has had a loved one pass away can attest to the fact that experiencing a loss is a tough situation to endure. Not only can the grief be difficult, but there is also the matter of dealing with the deceased's possessions, which can get messy without a will to clarify their last wishes. Consequently, it is imperative to tackle estate planning in a methodical and diligent way.

Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to ensure that the inheritance process goes as smoothly as possible. The sooner an individual begins planning for the distribution of their properties, the better off everybody will be down the road. Some attorneys go so far as to claim that 18 years of age isn't too early to start estate planning. At the end of the day, what matters is that an estate plan is in place before the property owner loses their ability to make decisions autonomously.

As for who ends up handling an individual's personal affairs, known as having power of attorney, there are two main aspects to take into consideration. On the one hand, people have to decide who they want to be their healthcare power of attorney, who makes all the medically related decisions once the person in their care becomes unable to do so. On the other hand, people need to choose a financial power of attorney, an individual responsible for all the financial decisions on their behalf. Finally, it is necessary for people to clarify how they would like their assets to be handled to avoid any confusion or conflict after their passing.

Mourning a loved one is still a very emotional process, which can complicate any estate distribution that may ensue. As a result, people may wish to seek experienced legal counsel for advice and help when it comes to planning their estate and ensuring that their loved ones get their just due.

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