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Starting an estate planning conversation can be difficult

People across the country put off estate planning. Although most people realize that an unexpected event could happen, and their life or the life of a person's family could be drastically changed. Even though people understand the fragility of life, they often are afraid to talk with their family about planning their estate.

Many people aren't sure how to talk about it. They don't like talking about death, illness or not being around for their family in the future. However difficult it is to talk about, estate planning can be one of the most important things someone ever does for their family. It provides peace of mind by reassuring family members that end of life planning is taken care of. But how do families address something that might be very sensitive for some family members?

One way to talk about it might be to ask your loved ones to schedule a time to discuss estate planning. By scheduling a time, families can have time to prepare and be ready to ask questions. This can also help prevent a family member from being caught off guard and think that something is immediately wrong. Starting the conversation with a story can help ease the discussion and explain the reason for wanting to talk about estate planning.

Not only is an estate planning discussion important for people who are making their will or trust, but also for the family members who might inherit part of the estate. This discussion can help heirs or beneficiaries understand why a person has made the estate planning decisions they have made.

Source: Forbes, "How To Start A Conversation About Estate Planning," Dec. 11, 2012

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