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How to avoid common estate plan issues

Nevada residents who are fans of Stan Lee may still be mourning his death. However, there are estate planning lessons that can be learned from his passing. The first lesson is that an estate plan needs to be reviewed as a person ages. Another lesson is that it is important to choose the right people to carry out various roles, such as power of attorney.

There are many questions that a person can ask a financial planner or similar professional when creating a plan. For example, it is a good idea to ask how assets will be organized and managed while alive and after passing. It is also worth asking how it will be determined that a person is experiencing cognitive decline. This is critical because it means that another party would make decisions on that person's behalf. In some cases, that would result in a family member or close friend who would need to be privy to the details of the estate plan.

A financial planner or estate plan adviser should insist on reviewing plan documents on a regular schedule. There should also be a discussion as to how assets will be monitored and what safeguards will be put in place to protect them. Finally, individuals should not hesitate to ask for references before hiring a professional to partner with.

Ideally, a person will create a will or trust to exert greater control over assets after passing. The will could instruct that property be left for a child, a spouse or a charitable organization. It could also be structured to pour assets into a trust. In some cases, beneficiary designations may work to transfer assets without the need to go through probate. An attorney may be able to assist in creating these and other planning documents.

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