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How to approach estate planning

Virginia residents may have an idea of what an estate plan is. However, they may think that it is something that they create at some point in the future. Ideally, individuals will create a plan as soon as possible and continue to update it as they get older. This is often a good idea even for those who don't think that they have a lot that they need to account for.

If a person owns a car, has an online account, or owns a home, those items should be included in an estate plan. Reviewing a plan can come in handy because decisions made in the past may no longer be appropriate. For example, someone who was named to be a child's guardian might not be the right person to assume that role now.

Other items to stay on top of include deciding whether to renew a life insurance policy or whether to reallocate assets in a will. If a policy does lapse, it is important to let others know about it. It is also critical that someone knows where to find a will or other important documents. Ideally, a plan will be reviewed either after a life event such as a marriage or divorce.

Typically, estate planning is not something that occurs at once. Instead, a plan should be edited and updated as events warrant. An attorney may be able to help craft a plan document or go over any that have already been created. A legal professional may be able to work with beneficiaries to help them understand how and when they will receive an inheritance. Executors and trustees may also be able to rely on legal counsel to help them fulfill their duties.

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