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Friday, December 31, 2010

An estate-planning new year's resolution

The turn of the new year certainly feels like a new beginning for many folks, and is traditionally the time we vow to stop smoking or start exercising. I have a suggestion for a different resolution. Why not resolve to review (and if necessary re-vamp) your estate plan? Some Sunday afternoon in the next few months, take out your documents and read them over. Ask yourself whether they still do what you what you want them to do.  Think about what has changed since you last did your Will - have you married? divorced? been widowed? had children or grandchildren? moved to a new province? retired? inherited money? Is your executor still ready, able and willing to act on your behalf? Do you have power of attorney and health care directives in place?

At the new year, we usually resolve to do something that we think will improve our lives or the lives of those around us. Reviewing your estate planning every few years will give those around you an enormous gift, as your documents will be there to guide them during emotionally challenging times.

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