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Organize Estate Plans in Advance (Des Moines Register)

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Few people like to think about the task of caring for an aging parent and settling an estate. David Cunningham, CFP, says seniors can take some advance steps to make the process a lot easier on their family members.

Family meetings early on can help determine who will be responsible for various health and financial responsibilites. A health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney should be created, just in case. Seniors should also establish what level of intervention they prefer; can they pay their own bills but allow adult children to keep an eye on big purchases?

All of a senior’s income sources, insurance policies, wills or trusts, and pre-made funeral arrangements should be shared with children in advance, and accounts should be consolidated where it makes sense. Regular reviews can be set up to ensure that all beneficiaries are current, and advisors should help seniors and their families develop a retirement plan distribution strategy.

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