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With a new year beginning many of us create New Year’s Resolutions. Because the first of the Baby Boomers turned 65 in 2011, one resolution that may be crossing their minds is to take steps they have been putting off. A will is one of three essential legal documents every person should have. It is a way to have your own wishes followed to make things easier for your loved ones. A will can determine how your assets (including money, investment, and any other possessions) will be distributed after your death in the manner you choose. This often entails a person either giving their possessions at death to their spouse or distributing them to their children. Of course, special planning occurs when one or both parties in a couple have children from prior marriages. Sometimes it is necessary to exclude certain persons from taking under the will or to set up a trust for minor or disabled beneficiaries. When creating a will, it also may be important to include particular instructions, personal wishes, and/or important messages to family members. A will enables a person with children to name a guardian. While creating a will may bring certain unsettling feelings about death, it can be very helpful to the family in preventing arguments and/or legal issues that may arise after death. It is recommended that you review your will every year and anytime that an event occurs which would change your current needs or wishes. You should consider assessing your will if you move to a different state (laws on wills vary by state), or when there are significant changes in assets, changes in marital status, deaths in the family, or changes in Federal and State laws. Writing a will involves more than just writing a document. As estate planning and elder law attorneys, we are able to help our clients make decisions and plan while creating or updating legal documents, such as wills.

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