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What is the process of choosing heirs?

It may be difficult to think about passing away. It may be difficult to think about what will happen to your money and other assets when you are gone. Even so, this is something that most people must come to grips with at some point in their lives.

When creating an estate plan, here is one of the biggest questions you must ask: who are you going to choose as your heirs?

Some people never have to think twice about this. Instead, they know they are leaving their assets behind to a spouse or children. Others, however, have more questions about this. Here are some of the things you can do if you are having a difficult time making this decision:

-- Keep an open mind. This is the best way to compare all your options and make a decision that will allow you to feel good about your estate plan.

-- Think about how you can be fair. This is not a problem for some, such as those with a spouse and no children, but others realize it can be a challenge to remain fair.

-- Be specific. There is no point in "beating around the bush." You are not required to tell somebody he or she will receive some or all of your assets when you pass on. However, your estate plan should be as clear as possible.

There is no right or wrong way of choosing heirs. This is simple for some and more complicated for others. It is important for all people to put enough time and thought into the selection process.

Source: Fool, "Ask Mrs. Riches: Choosing Heirs" accessed Feb. 23, 2015

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