Everyone, especially someone who has recently gotten a divorce, should do their estate planning. The first thing you need to do is to take stock of your assets and liabilities. This can include a list of the value of your home or apartment and other physical assets; recent statements from your bank and brokerage accounts; a list of all your insurance policies, their cash values and death benefits; and a list of all liabilities, including mortgages, lines of  credit and any other debts.

Before you meet with an estate planner, you need to define your estate planning goals:  Who do you want your assets to go to and in what amounts; who do you want caring for your minor children or pets; how much do you want to put aside for your children’s ongoing care and education; who should manage your financial affairs if you become unable to manage them yourself; who should be the executor of your estate and be responsible for distributing your assets after you pass away; and who will make health-care decisions if you become unable to make them yourself?

The laws regulating estate settlement vary from state-to-state, so you need to meet with a qualified estate-planning attorney to draft the proper documents.  Some of the documents you will need are: A Will, A Trust or Trusts, Living Will or medical directive, Medical power of attorney and Beneficiary forms.

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