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Greetings, DopeyDAve, and welcome. You wrote:

<<Who will get it? Who cares? I'll be gone!

If there is anything for anyone to "get", I will have cheated myself! >>

Perhaps you're right. But IMHO you're not.

I've told my kids for years that I want to die waving my last dollar bill saying, "That's all there is!" The trick, though, is getting those two points in time to meet. I may die much earlier than I think I will or even wish I will. In that event, I care immensely what happens. I want my assets distributed the way I want them to go, not the way the Commonwealth of Virginia says assets will be distributed under the laws of intestacy. Further, I want my kids to avoid as much estate tax as possible, and to minimize their income tax payments on any IRAs I leave behind.

All of that means I must do some estate planning that includes, as necessary, the following:

a. Will preparation.
b. Possible use of trusts.
c. Advance medical directive to forestall heroic (but useless) life sustainment that will deplete the estate.
d. Durable power of attorney.
e. IRA beneficiary planning.

I consider those facets as necessary to a well-constructed retirement plan. Unless I give them adequate consideration, I've cheated myself and I've cheated my family. IMHO anyone who thinks otherwise is merely fooling himself (or herself as the case may be).

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