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Living trust may save Kent residents from trouble down the road

As teenagers, many Kent residents have gotten the "talk" from their parents about sex and many other issues unique to young adults, but as parents get older, it may be time for children to have an estate planning talk with their parents. Estate planning may be a difficult topic to bring up with parents because it involves the word "death." As unsettling as it sounds, estate planning is a crucial discussion that needs to be addressed before it is too late.

Without a living trust or will, many individuals will leave their loved ones to the cumbersome and often unsettling process of probate court. By constructing a living trust, family members can bypass the probate process and avoid any publicity. It is often easy to set up and can be done inexpensively. A living trust is basically a document that determines how one's assets will be divided among their heirs upon death. It works by naming someone as a trustee, typically an attorney or close friend, who distributes assets to beneficiaries upon the individual's death.

Another thing that is consequential to a proper estate plan is a medical directive. Medical emergencies can often occur without warning or cause. Whether it's a tragic car accident or deadly disease, many times these accidents can leave people with a difficult medical choice that they may not be able to make due to incapacitation. The purpose of a medical directive is to announce to the medical community how an individual wants to be treated during a difficult medical decision.

Regardless of age, any Kent resident without a basic estate plan may put family members through trouble down the road. By constructing a basic living trust and medical directive, many people will provide stability to their future and ensure their end-of-life wishes are met upon death. An attorney may offer additional service or advice to those interested.

Source: CBS Boston, "Helping Dad With Estate Planning," Dee Lee, June 14, 2013

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