Who Inherits?

Seniors with no immediate heirs need to take extra pains to plan their estates

Elaine Malek, 52, president of a human-resources and educational consulting firm in Milwaukee, Wis., has a lot of friends and relatives. But since she has no husband or children--and thus no immediate heirs--she has had to take special pains to plan her estate. In her will, she carefully divided her assets among her sisters, nieces and nephews, and 10 grandnieces and grandnephews. She left her home to one of her sisters and her prized Latin American art collection to one of her close friends. She even provided for her two dogs--which mean the world to her--setting aside $20,000 for their care...

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