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No more dawdling: organize your estate plan as soon as possible

You could be a 25-year-old in peak physical prime or a 55-year-old with a few medical conditions -- in either case, people need to properly organize their estate plan. While the odds are that a younger person is not going to die anytime soon, unexpected accidents and maladies can strike at any time. It is a gruesome and unsettling thought, but it is a fact of life. Things can go wrong, mistakes can be made and accidents happen. When they do, a young person can lose their life.

On the other side of the age spectrum, there is an inherently greater chance of dying. The more we age, the closer we come to death. Again, it's not something people want to think about. That's probably why so many people procrastinate when it comes to a will or an estate plan. Contemplating death is a tough task, and so many different things go into your estate plan that it really becomes a challenge to get everything in order.

So no matter your age, there is no time like the present to get your estate plan in order if you haven't already. Take small steps to improve your estate plan, as it will help you ease into the process. For example, make your beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies are in line. Then get a grasp of all of your assets and get ready to write it all down in a will.

When you compose your will, it is again important to make sure your beneficiaries are correct. It will be tempting to try to do the will on your own -- and you really could. However, it is in your best interest to consult a legal professional to help you with the will. Having that professional set of eyes will help ensure that your will is compliant with the law, and that you didn't make a critical mistake that turns your estate plan into a complicated family issue. 

Source: Star Tribune, "Resolve to get your affairs in order," Tim Engle, Kansas City Star, Feb. 19, 2014

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