Estate Planning in a Pinch - HashOut
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Estate Planning in a Pinch

It's hard to think straight when a loved one is seriously ill. Martin Shenkman, an American lawyer and author of 32 books on estate and financial planning offers this checklist:

Draw up papers.
Everyone needs a durable power of attorney and a will. The first one names someone to manage affairs if the person cannot, the second specifies how assets are to be divided among heirs. In addition, a "living will" can tell hospitals what to do regarding possible life support.

Update records.
Locate financial documents, such as tax returns, shares, FD receipts and bank accounts. See if the right co-owners and beneficiaries are properly identified and named.

Discuss private matters.
Jot down lock combinations, passwords, and locations of any hidden valuables.

Limit fights.
Ask the person to tell heirs about his or her wishes. "When heirs hear those wishes, they're more likely to accept them," Shenkman says.

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