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Estate planning is essential for Washington, DC residents

Despite advances in medical care and the fact that people are living longer than ever before in this country, everyone is still going to die. Moreover, no one knows when their death will happen. Therefore, even though it is a difficult subject to consider, estate planning is essential for every Washington, DC resident who hopes to save their loved ones extra trouble during a time of grief.

At the very least, every adult needs a will. Without this document, the government will have the right to determine what happens to an individual's property, pets and minor children. Having a will gives the power of distributing property to the owner of the property. Merely expressing one's wishes to a family member is not enough or valid as far as the law is concerned. Other estate planning documents such as trusts, powers of attorney and advance medical directives are also useful for any estate plan.

These documents can be changed as the circumstances of a person's life change. Major life events such as divorce, marriage or the birth of a child could require a review of estate planning documents, including a will. Even if things have not changed much, a periodic review needs to be done to make sure an individual's wishes are still accurately represented.

Estate planning can provide a Washington, DC resident with peace of mind that his or her affairs are in order -- just in case. However, the documents are especially valuable to family members. Having a set of instructions on how to handle an individual's affairs during such a difficult time is immeasurably valuable for a family's peace of mind. The less complicated things are for a family during their time of grief, the better.

Source: MSN Money, "Estate-planning documents you need right now", , April 18, 2014

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