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Thanksgiving and estate planning go hand in hand

As Kent area residents gather together this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, this time of the year is also a good time to have hard conversations. One topic that can be hard to discuss is estate planning. But having these conversations with aging parents is important.

Discussing estate plans with aging relatives is important; however, children should know whether or not their parents have an estate plan in place. Often, parents keep these matters private, but if circumstances arise that require estate planning needs, children should know what has already been decided. Thanksgiving often pulls families together from all over the country, so it's a good time to get together and discuss these important matters.

Estate planning topics that can be discussed include a general idea of how assets will be distributed, if there are health care or financial power of attorneys, medical directives, a living will or a will that has been created. Families should also share where those estate planning documents are kept. Also, if family members are interested in certain sentimental objects, this would be a good time to discuss these and write down who gets what.

Thanksgiving is a time for families to get together and celebrate the season. It can also be a good idea to go over basic estate planning needs and learn what plans are in place and what still may need to be worked out. Aging parents may need help figuring out what estate planning documents are important or their estate plans may be outdated. Children can help their parents review their documents and recommend an estate planning attorney if necessary.

Source:, "Estate planning over Thanksgiving? Time to talk turkey," Jason Notte, Nov. 9, 2015

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