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Uncertainty, hope, for estate planners on eve of Trump presidency

As the world prepares for the unprecedented, a United States President with no former government experience to take office, Americans throughout the country are wondering how the new presidency will affect them. There is much uncertainty and few answers provided on many issues, including tax reforms that may affect an American's estate and assets.

Estate planning professionals are suggesting that Americans "proceed with caution", though they are optimistic that things could turn out okay for those with significant investments, property and assets at hand. According to experts, it may be wise to not act in haste, but instead leave their estate planning strategies in order until the industry can see how everything will play out. "Now is not the time to make drastic changes to estate plans," said a senior vice president of a high-end investment advisory firm.

There are still some aspects of long-term planning that should be prioritized, including the guardianship of young children in the event of a premature death, the establishment of a power of attorney for both healthcare decisions as well as financial decisions, and a living will to assure that your medical treatments are in line with your philosophies in the event that you are ill, incapacitated or unable to make your wishes known.

No one knows how this new presidency will play out, but it may be in your best interest to stay in touch with a legal professional familiar with estate planning to address possible changes in the near or distant future. Your assets and future are too important to overlook. It is best to have a plan in order in advance so you are not left scrambling in the event of unforeseen circumstances arising.

Source: CNBC, "Estate-planning pros take a wait-and-see approach to Trump," By Andrew Osterland, Jan. 11, 2017

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