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Holidays good time to talk about estate planning

Many Kent area residents will be getting together with family this holiday season. Holidays are a great time to discuss estate planning with relatives, including those whom we haven't seen in years.

Although the thought of bringing up the topic of estate planning during the holidays may not sound like an unpleasant task, it is very important. The holidays offer a unique situation where often times the entire family is together in one place. Parents may be hesitant to discuss estate planning with their children because they don't want to hurt their feelings or cause conflict among siblings. In order to have it go as smoothly as possible parents should be prepared to explain their choices and answer any questions.

It can be hard to please everyone and many times someone may feel left out. But, it is a person's prerogative to distribute their estate to a beneficiary as they please. In addition to the monetary estate, it is also a good idea to communicate instructions for health care advance directives. Giving children time to think about your health care wishes and ask any questions can help ease the pain if a person becomes incapacitated.

Also, all documents regarding your estate should be kept together in a safe place. Let your heirs know where these documents are so that they can be found when needed. An attorney skilled in estate planning can help a family put together an estate plan. They can assess a family's unique situation and offer advice as to what is necessary. An estate plan can give a family peace of mind.

Source:, "Holiday gatherings provide good time to tell families about estate plan," Richard Barid and Michael Smith, Dec. 18, 2014

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