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Catastrophe Planning: Where There's A Will There's A Way!

BOSTON (CBS) - Bad things happen! Catastrophes! Accidents! Illness! Death!

No one gets out of this world alive, but we can plan to make it easier on those we leave behind. If you have accumulated assets or you have minor children you need to do some estate planning. The more complicated your life the more complicated your planning needs to be.

According to a survey, only 42% of  adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or living trust. For those with children under the age of 18, the figure is even lower, with just 36% having an end-of-life plan in place.

Most parents work hard at keeping their kids safe but fail when it comes to keeping them safe if they should die.

At the very least, you need a will naming guardians for your children if something should happen to you and your spouse.

Without a will you are leaving behind a messy situation to be handle by whoever the court appoints. And if there is life insurance involved I can guarantee even your cousin Vinny will offer to take the kids.

Most parents put off estate planning because they just don't know who to name as guardian for their kids. And often we think if we don't talk about dying, it won't happen! Life is complex and with blended families the decision as to who will raise the kids if you are not around gets complicated.

Best choice, an adult sibling, cousin or a friend who lives nearby but that is not always possible. Talk to family members and friends about who you would like to raise your kids.

Grandparents may not be a good choice simply because of their age, but if they are young then ask them.

Of course, life will go on if you don't do estate planning, but with a little planning on your part, you can make things so much easier for those you leave behind if something should happen to you.

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