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Can you keep your kids from contesting your will?

The last thing you want is for your children to fight over your estate and contest your will after you pass away. The whole reason you drafted a will is that you wanted to make the transition of assets go smoothly, allowing your family members to stay close.

You can't completely guarantee that your will won't be contested, but there are steps you can take to make it less likely.

8 assets you should include in your will

Did you know that around 70 percent of people in the United States don't have a will? Some no doubt feel like they're too young, even though accidents can take a life at any age. Others feel like they don't have enough assets, even though any amount of assets is enough to make sure they're transferred properly.

If you're thinking of drafting a will, here are eight things it's critical to include:

Why would you seek a child custody modification?

When you get divorced, a child custody plan is put in place. Perhaps you and your ex set the plan up and had the court sign off on it, or perhaps the court had to make a ruling since you couldn't agree.

Either way, you may eventually want to have that order modified. Below are a few reasons that this can happen:

Talk to your kids about adoption

You already have two children, but you want to expand your family. You considered adoption before your first child was born, but never did it. Now you think it may be the right time.

You may have a variety of reasons. Maybe you know another family in the community looking to give a child up for adoption, and you want to help out. Maybe you have read the statistics and you know how many kids need homes; you can't help all of them, but you can help one. Maybe you don't want to go through a third pregnancy, but you still would like a third child.

Ensuring that your grandchildren get some of your inheritance

You want to leave money to your children, but you're also worried about your grandchildren. You'd like to ensure that they get some of what you're leaving behind, that it isn't lost by the next generation due to divorce or poor financial planning.

The first thing to do is to sit down with your kids and talk about your estate plan, your intentions and how you want the grandchildren to be involved. If they know what you want, you can often simply work together to set up accounts and other channels to ensure that the money goes to the grandchildren.

Setting up general or health care powers of attorney

When it comes to powers of attorney, the two basic types you'll consider are general -- often referred to as financial -- and health care. As the names imply, they do very different things, but both are centered around giving other people the power to make crucial decisions for you.

With a general power of attorney, property-related questions are addressed. If you're not able to take care of paying your own taxes, for example, another person can do it for you. Remember, just because your health has deteriorated doesn't mean the bills stop. You could have house payments, utilities payments, assisted living center charges, car payments, property taxes and much more. These all need to be taken care of on time, and the power of attorney helps ensure that they are.

Reasons people keep their new last names even after divorce

You got married, and you changed your last name. It signified a new chapter in your life. Now you're getting divorced, and you're wondering what to do. Should you switch your name back or keep your ex's name?

Most people may immediately assume it's time to change your name again. However, some people who have been through it gave the following reasons for keeping it:

Temporary orders and the need for quick decisions

The logistics of splitting up your marriage can get complicated, and some decisions simply must be made quickly. You don't have time to wait. The divorce case itself could run on for a few months. Some complex cases could take over a year.

Imagine that you have two young children. They didn't decide to get divorced and they need a place to live. They need money for necessary items, like food and clothing. You can't put them in limbo for three months while the case proceeds. Temporary support and custody orders may then be used to ensure that they get what they need until another, permanent order can be issued.

What is a DNR order?

A DNR order is something you may want to consider when doing your estate planning, making medical decisions for your future and granting someone a medical power of attorney. It is a do-not-resuscitate order, governing the type of medical treatment you'd get in an emergency.

All that the DNR order controls is whether or not the medical team will use CPR to bring you back if you stop breathing. It won't give them instructions about pain medications they should or should not give you or what other treatments can be used.

Acting as conservator may give you financial responsibilities

In the event of a person's incapacitation, he or she will likely need various types of assistance in his or her daily life. As a result, the court may appoint an individual to carry out those necessary duties in order to properly attend to the incapacitated party's affairs. In many cases, if an adult individual needs such assistance, the appointed agent gains the title of conservator.

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