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Top tips for discussing estate planning with your family

There's a good chance that your estate planning decisions will impact many other people, so it's important to share your thoughts, challenges, and strategy with the appropriate family members.

Unfortunately, discussing estate planning is much more challenging than it sounds. After all, no one wants to think about what will happen after they have passed on.

Here are some top tips for discussing estate planning topics with your family:

  • Choose the right time for the conversation. It's extremely important to choose a time and place that works for all parties involved, as you don't want to rush the discussion just to get it behind you.
  • Write down what you want to cover. Since it can be difficult to stay on track when discussing estate planning, you'll want to write down everything that needs to come to light.
  • Cover everything. It's best to get everything out of the way during one conversation, as this ensures that everyone is on the same page. Yes, this may mean many hours of discussing estate planning, but it's well worth it in the end.
  • Be sincere. This is not a time to be vague about your intentions. It's a time to have a sincere conversation about what you're trying to accomplish with your estate plan. Your decisions may not sit well with everyone, but you need to be open and honest.

Following these tips will allow you to more easily discuss estate planning with your family. Once everyone has an idea of where you stand, you can then learn more about your legal rights and how to create a plan that puts your mind at ease.

Source: Fidelity, "Tips for Estate Planning Conversations," accessed March 26, 2018

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