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Estate Planning

Write a Will Without the Hassle

If you don't have a will, do this now. Here's what you need to do:

Go to a lawyer, or use an online template at Legalzoom.com (starting at $70) or software such as Quicken WillMaker Plus ($45). YouÕll need two witnesses, neither of whom can be a beneficiary.

Divvy up your assets. Leave out property you share as a joint tenant and assets with named beneficiaries.

Choose your heirs. Be specific about who you want to include -- or exclude. Remember, you can't disinherit a spouse.

Appoint an executor, perhaps a family member or trusted friend. First ask whether he or she is willing to take on the job, and name an alternate.

Designate a guardian for children under 18. Minors need a legally appointed caregiver.

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