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More Families Are Making Out Their Wills In Wake Of Attacks

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Our own mortality is something we do not like to think about, but the Sept. 11 attacks reminded us about how suddenly life is lost. No matter how old you may be, it is a good idea to have your affairs in order.

Cindy Proffit wants to put her estate in order for her daughter's sake and her own peace of mind. She said that she had not had a will done for five years. After the terrorist attacks, she decided to pull out her current last will and testament and update it.

"On Sept. 11, I definitely had a priority change, where I needed to make sure I took care of my own personal affairs," Cindy said. "As a single mom, my daughter is 10, and I felt it was urgent."

As a sole provider and soon-to-be financial planner, Cindy was essentially taking her own advice. Sue Sprunger says where there is no will, there is no easy way for a family to divide assets.

"Make sure your estate plan is in place," she says. "You're setting them up for issues regarding the money that's going to the children and who is going to be responsible for taking the responsibility with respect to that income," she says.

Sprunger says without a will, the state divides income and other assets. Depending on the type of trust you set up, a will can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to $1,000 or more.