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Tips for writing a will

Many people may neglect to create a will or another estate plan. One famous example is the former Supreme Court justice Warren Burger, who left only a short, error-filled will, which ended up costing his family over $450,000 in taxes and an additional amount in legal fees. Some people in Florida might also need to prepare a will.

In the will, they can choose people to fulfill various roles. If they have children, they can use the will to appoint a guardian. They may want to name others who can take over in case their first choice dies or is unable to care for their children. Wills also generally have beneficiaries, the people who receive assets. The will should name them and what they will receive. Finally, an executor must be appointed. This person is in charge of overseeing the distribution of assets and making sure that everyone is taken care of as intended.

The will should be very specific about what people will get. This can get complicated in blended families, so it can help to talk to family members about what they want. Some people include a letter with the will explaining their intentions. Once it has been properly prepared, the will should be kept somewhere it can be easily located. It also needs to be reviewed and updated regularly.

Wills need to be consistent with other types of estate planning documents, such as beneficiary designations. Life insurance policies and retirement accounts are among the assets usually passed in this way. As part of the estate plan, a person may also want to prepare for the possibility of becoming incapacitated. A power of attorney can appoint someone to make financial decisions on a person's behalf, and a designation of health care surrogate can give someone the power to make health care decisions.

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