Lessons from Michael Jackson's death

Many are still in shock with the sudden death of Michael Jackson. The King of Pop is gone, but his musical legacy lives on, and the 80's babies are in memory lane through his music.

With the amount of media coverage, and the anticipation of a battle for his estate, his children will be at the centerstage of it all. That makes some parents stop and think about the future of their children if they unexpectedly aren't there to care for them. These may be topics you don't want to think about, but in the end, as with everything in life, it is better to be prepared, so why not start taking a look at it now.

At the same time, this can still spillover to making sure your affairs are in order: living will, do you need to leave a power of attorney, what about a health-care proxy.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson21/ offers and overview on points you should keep in mind, things you need to know, and insights on why you should have a will, for example.

Some documents are simple and you can do them yourself. Some others might be a little more complex and perhaps an expert advise is in order. There are a few on-line companies that provide you with the necessary forms by state.

http://www.estateplanninglinks.com/ provides helpful links to resources for estate planning, elder law and related areas. Intended to be as inclusive as possible, this site attempts to provide a complete list of resources in one place and not necessarily a list of the "best" web sites. Remember this can be used as a guide for you. They have calculators for estate and tax planning and also give for free what they call 7 steps mini-planning estate course. Bear in mind that the choice of legal counsel is upon you, and you need to give it serious consideration as you find one that suits your needs and requirements. There are many estate professionals out there, and you need to be mindful of both federal and state laws, and which one caters to what you are really looking for.

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