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The hardest part of estate planning is not what you may expect

Although it's fairly commonplace to see stories in the news or on television about how things can go wrong at the end of life without an estate plan being in place, there are still an estimated 55 to 65 percent of Americans who don't have even in a will in place. Many don't because they think they don't have enough assets to leave behind for anyone. Others think estate planning is too complex.

What most people seem not to understand is that things are far more complex when someone doesn't have an estate plan.

The majority of the work involved in crafting an estate plan comes in trying to compile a list of your real estate and other investments, banking and retirement accounts, sentimental or collectible item, insurance policies and other assets and debts.

Also difficult can be trying to decide who you feel is responsible enough to handle being appointed an executor of your estate. The person that you should select for this role should be both trustworthy and responsible, as it will ultimately come down to him or her making sure that your wishes regarding asset distribution are handled and that your final expenses are paid.

You'll also need to give who you'd want to inherit your different assets some thought. If you decide to have a health care proxy, then you'll want to make sure you tell that person what your medical preferences are and make sure that he or she feels comfortable taking on that role. If you have minor children, then you'll want to figure out who would be best suited to take care of your kids if you and their other parent were to unexpectedly pass on.

Once you've compiled all of your important financial data and determined who you want to receive your assets and handle your affairs, then you've done the hardest part of the estate planning process. You'll want to turn your attention to a Queens estate planning attorney to help you plan for your future.

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