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Estate planning in families requires good communication

When a Kent area family determines they need to start working on an estate plan, it can seem like an overwhelming task. Depending on a family's needs, there may be many different documents that need to be created. Each family situation is different, but it is important to communicate within the family about what is decided so that no one feels left out. Estate planning is also important in making sure when a person dies, the person's loved ones know what the loved one wanted down and how to go about doing it.

After a person dies, their family is often in limbo as to what happens to their estate. Without an estate plan in place, siblings often get into arguments about who gets what, what should be sold, and about assets and debts in general. An estate plan should be thought about as a way for a person to pass along their values to their heirs, such as who and what is important to them.

An estate planning attorney can help a family communicate what their legacy will be. They know how to create goals and make sure these goals are met by an estate plan. An attorney can learn what their client's wishes are and what kind of legacy they want to be left. They can help the family learn how to include charity in their estate plan, if desired, as well as including children and grandchildren. An attorney can also help create health care directive and power of attorney documents as well.

Although no one wants to think about the inevitable, knowing that a plan is in place can help put a person at peace. A family should not wait to create an estate plan until it is too late.

Source:, "Chris Farrell: Many families fail to communicate about estate planning", Chris Farrell, Sept. 3, 2016

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