Family Law: Estate Planning 101

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Estate planning empowers you and your family to carry out your wishes during and after your death. There are a lot of steps in the process to complete an estate plan. Before you do anything, though, you need to determine who you want to get what from your estate, and who will handle all those matters if you ever become incapacitated or die. Sometimes it can create discord to appoint an immediate family member as your power of attorney (POA) unless it is your spouse. It can also have the opposite effect if you decide on someone who is not a family member.

Give it quite a bit of thought before you decide. Discuss it with family members if you think it will help. You may also want to get some direction from friends and neighbors. You could make an appointment to get feedback from an estate attorney. Estate attorneys typically provide the first consul for free. Just make sure you're armed with specific direction before any estate documents are created.