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Estate plans should be made early and reviewed often

Estate planning can be a big undertaking, but it's an important one. It may seem like an afterthought compared to the stressful buzz of life. However, it can be a wonderful reward for family and other beneficiaries if people take the time and effort to make a plan and check it regularly.

The first step is, in many ways, thinking about the last step. What do you want to happen to your estate when you're no longer around? Is your goal to preserve wealth for children or be sure that specific assets stay in the family? These thoughts will help create the strategy and goals for your estate planning.

It is essential to look at all of your assets and what you need to do to make sure they go to your intended beneficiaries. Bank accounts that are payable on death (POD), for example, are not necessarily part of a last will and testament.

An experienced attorney can help you prepare an estate plan as well as work out the best times to review it and make sure it is still a good way to make it to your goals. You should review your estate plan with your attorney whenever you make a significant life change, if your financial situation changes and sometimes when there are changes in the law.

It's always wise to review your estate plan at least annually, even if you don't believe you need to make any changes. If you aren't sure if a change to your plan is warranted, consult your attorney to get their advice.

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