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Estate planning is an important affair.  You want to make sure that your loved ones are cared for after you can no longer do so.  Many people don’t yet have a will because they simply haven’t gotten around to it yet, or because they don’t think that it’s important.  However, every state has it’s own laws in place regarding how assets are divided and the court will decide who takes care of your children, and that may be contrary to your wishes.  As you begin estate planning, here are a few things you will need to remember. 


If you have children, it is important to decide who will care for them after you are gone.   As you decide who to appoint as your child’s guardian, you will need to:

Find someone whose values, religious beliefs, and parenting style matches your own.

Determine who will be able to devote the time and energy needed to care for your child emotionally, physically, financially, etc.

Assess who your child feels comfortable with already, and whether or not the person’s own children will cause conflict.

Pet Provision

It is a wise idea to ensure that your beloved pet is taken care of when you are gone.  You cannot leave money or property to your pet, but you can give someone the necessary tools to take care of them.  In your will, you should name a caretaker for your pet, as well as give them the necessary resources (money, insurance, and a care sheet) to properly love your pet.

Prepare a Living Trust

As part of your estate planning, you will need to designate who will take care of you and your affairs if you are unable to do so due to injury or illness.  In this document, you will also state what you would like to do in specific cases, such as requesting a Do Not Resuscitate, if you want to donate your organs to science, etc. 

Digital Assets

As you prepare your estate, you need to remember to give loved ones access to your digital life.  Remember to include your digital assets in your estate planning: from music and movies to e-books, PayPal balances, e-mails, photos, domain names, and more.  The best way to do this is to create a secure place where all of your logins and passwords are kept, and give your loved ones access.  Be as comprehensive as possible, as an old email address may provide the key for your loved ones to access important information through password recovery.