McCann Student Competes In National Competition

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Keaton West competed in the Microsoft Office Systems National Competitions in Orlando, Fla. after winning the state tournament.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann sophomore Keaton West competed in the Microsoft Office Systems National Competitions in Orlando, Fla.
 
After winning the state competition in PowerPoint the incoming Junior flew down to Orlando on June 15 to compete in the Certiport's MOS Championship.
 
"It was an amazing experience," West said in a press release.
 
"I would recommend attending to anyone if they have the chance."
 
In the state competition West scored a 985 out of 1000 which qualified him for the state competition held from June 17 to 19.
 
West said there was a small meeting on June 16 and testing began the next day. 
 
"All competitors took their tests in different time blocks," he said. "I took mine at 12:30 p.m. and finished in 50 minutes. Tuesday night all competitors were called on stage one at a time, given a certificate of completion, and took a picture with representatives from Certiport."
 
West said he does not yet know his score but is happy with the experience regardless. 
 
"I was not told my score or what place I came in, but that’s not all that matters," he said.
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Estate Plans Can Help You Answer Questions About the Future

Submitted by Edward Jones

The word "estate" conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don't develop estate plans. After all, they're not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.

Here are a few of these questions:

* What will happen to my children?
With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don't want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a "guardian of the estate" – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.

* Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you have named.

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