Retirement & Financial Planning Report

No matter how old you are, you should have an estate plan that includes these basic steps:

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1. Assess your assets. Besides financial holdings and real estate, include "human capital such as expected future income.

2. Determine where you’d like those assets to go. That is, which family members or friends will inherit.

3. Execute a will. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed by your state’s law, which might be much different than your wishes.

4. Choose an executor. In your will, you’ll name someone to handle the paperwork involved in distributing your estate. Pick someone who’s well organized and get his or her consent to serve.

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5. Name guardians. If you have minor children, you also should designate the people who’ll raise them, if you or your spouse is not able to do so.

6. Look hard at your life insurance. Make sure you have enough coverage to replace the income that will be missed in the event of your untimely death.