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Tips and tricks for estate planning

Estate planning is not a Herculean task, but then again, it's not so easy, either. There are many ways to get tripped up, from drafting a confusing will to inadvertently paying more than your fair share of taxes.

Here are four areas to which people in Port St. Lucie will want to pay attention, as well as suggestions for how to avoid any possible mistakes.

  • Clean house in terms of assets: Having many assets hidden in scattered pockets is going to make it very hard for whomever has to metaphorically clean house after you pass on. Make it easier by clearly indicating where your assets are. If after you make a list you realize that you're all over the map, you might want to start concentrating your funds.
  • Make sure you choose an appropriate guardian: Although you love your own mother and father, appointing them as guardians of your children may not be a smart idea. After all, they aren't getting any young -- will they be around to watch over your children?
  • Pay attention to taxes: Make sure you express to your estate planning attorney that you want to minimize the amount you pay in taxes so that can be reflected in the kind of arrangements you make. Depending on your situation you may also want to have a consultation with a tax professional.
  • Update your documents regularly: How many estate plans do you think have been foiled by a life event, like a second marriage or the death of a beneficiary, that makes a will outdated and hard to understand? Too many. A lot of people often choose to update their estate planning documents at the same time every year, like tax time. That way, their documents never get stale.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "6 Celebrity Estate Planning Errors - And Tips, " Dec. 6, 2011

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