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Tips for discussing estate planning with your parents

Just because you have an estate plan in place does not mean your parents have taken the same steps. If you find that your parents are slacking off in this area, it is a good idea to take the initiative and do your best to provide assistance.

Here are some tips for discussing estate planning with your parents:

-- Look at the conversation from their point of view. As you get started, it is important to let your parents know you are interested in carrying out their wishes upon their death as desired. Don't come across as somebody who is preaching. Instead, listen and learn.

-- Make it clear that you are not trying to take their money. You never want to come across as somebody who is digging for money or attempting to push somebody into something they don't want to do.

-- Focus on their concerns. You will soon find that your parents have estate planning concerns, just like you and everybody else who is faced with this process and the decisions that come along with it.

-- If you are unable to get through to your parents, suggest that they speak with somebody else, such as a financial planner or attorney.

Nobody wants to think about what will happen when he or she passes on, but it is the responsible thing to do. If you believe your parents are missing the boat when it comes to their estate plan, don't shy away from providing assistance. At the very least, you can suggest that they consult with an experienced, reputable attorney.

Source: Family Education, "Talking to Your Parents About Estate Planning" Jan. 06, 2015

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