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Auburn Citizen - secureyourfuture (Page 3)

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Auburn Citizen - secureyourfuture
he topic of wills is not commonplace
conversation in many homes. After
all, since wills bring to mind your own mor-
tality, usually you do not look forward to
talking about them or going about creating
one. For some, wills are not discussed because
of the misconception that they're something
to do when you get older. But because death
can occur at any time in your life, it is impor-
tant to have a will in place to clarify your
intentions. Even though most people know
a will is a good thing to have, in the United
States, only 70 percent of the population
actually has one, according to a survey by, an online resource that provides
consumers and small businesses with do-it-your-
self legal solutions.
Legally, wills can be created by anyone of
sound mind age 18 or older. Each state may
also pose its own restrictions. It doesn't mat-
ter how much money you have, how many
valuable possessions, etc., wills are the sim-
plest way to make sure your assets and pos-
sessions are distributed after your death in
the way you see fit.
If you have children, wills are particu-
larly important. A guardian can be named
for your children in the event that you and
your spouse are both unable to care for them.
By default, a parent is given custody of a
child when the other parent dies. However,
if the surviving parent is incapable or unwill-
ing to care for the child, a guardian will be
needed. Without a will, the state will deter-
mine who will become the child's guardian
-- a person whom you may not see fit. There-
fore, create a will if for nothing else than
having a way to secure your child's future.
Remember, however, to discuss guardianship
with your potential choices to ensure that
these people are able and willing to assume
the responsibility.
Wills often contain other information
besides guardianship, which is not limited
to, but can include, the following:
· A brief description of your assets and how
they should be divided.
· The names of beneficiaries and alter-
nate beneficiaries in the event a beneficiary
dies before you do.
· Specific gifts you'd like to make to indi-
viduals, such as the gift of a home or vehicle.
· A named executor (someone who will
carry out the terms of your will).
· Alternate guardians for your children,
in the event the first choices have become
unable to act.
Note: A living will is not part of your
will. It is a separate document in which you
specify what care you would like to receive
should you become terminally ill or uncon-
scious. It will become effective at the time you
are no longer able to make sound decisions
about your care.
Making a will requires a little research
and preparation. List all of your assets to
know what you're dealing with. Then also
consider your debts. You may want to tie up
debts. Debts may be paid out of your estate
prior to any assets being distributed to fam-
ily members. Remember to be extremely clear
when naming beneficiaries, so there will be
no confusion when your will is executed.
Where possible, use full names and the per-
son's relationship to you, so the will won't
be contested.
While a will needn't necessarily be drawn
up by an attorney, it could help make matters
easier. States typically require that the will be
signed in front of witnesses. The number of
witnesses varies by state.
Wills should be amended or updated every
time a child is born, you change residences,
you get remarried, or when any major change
in your assets occurs. A will can be amend-
ed but, typically, a new one is just drawn up,
superceding the old one.
The original copy of your will should be
stored in a safe place where it can be readi-
ly accessed at the time of your death. If you
have an attorney draw up the will, he or she
should be given record of where the origi-
nal is held. You can store it in a safe-deposit
box, but some states seal the box upon your
death, so this may not be the best option. If
you name a trust company as your executor,
the trust will safely hold onto your will until
it's needed.
Although the end of your life is not some-
thing you'll want to dwell on, knowing that
your wishes will be carried out in the way
you see fit can give you peace of mind.
The Citizen, Auburn, New York
Secure Your Future
January 29, 2006
Build Your Rock Solid
Financial Future Without
Having To Leave Auburn
You're closer than ever to someone who can
provide you with Rock Solid insurance and financial
products. Earl Phillips is a neighbor as well as a
professional you can rely on. He can help you pro-
tect your loved ones and build a Rock Solid financial
future with insurance for personal and business
needs, mutual funds, IRAs and more. Call today for
an appointment!
Now, the strength of The Rock
and competitive insurance
and financial products are right here in town!
315) 252-1775
Earl Phillips - Agent
The Prudential Insurance Company of America
Branch Office:(315) 446-1515
Insurance issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of
America, Newark, NJ, and its affiliates. Securities offered as a
registered representative of Pruco Securities, LLC, member
SIPC, Newark, NJ. Both are Prudential Financial companies.
IFS-A100708 Ed. 2/2005
Growing and Protecting Your Wealth
Where there's a `Will,'
there's a way

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