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The importance of estate planning conversations

Awkward conversations are hard for almost anyone in New Jersey. People usually don't go out seeking to have a difficult conversation with another person. But, many times these conversations are important and the estate planning conversation is no exception.

Estate planning conversations between parents and their adult children can be uncomfortable. But, without this dialogue, it can lead to both parties having hurt feelings and assumptions that are not true. The benefits of having an estate planning conversation include the ability to pass along the family's values, creating a sense of empowerment among family members and helping everyone in the family come to a common understanding that can be passed down to future generations. Besides the wholistic benefits of estate planning, there are practical ones as well. These include helping a family prepare for the event that someone becomes incapacitated, the ability to develop a plan for other members of the family and create a plan that takes advantage of tax strategies.

These important conversations should be held, ideally, during a period of relative calm and not during a family emergency. Waiting until a family crisis occurs may be too late. The importance and benefits of having this conversation should also be stressed and the fact that everyone should understand what the plan is.

Having an estate plan in place can be comforting for families. Although the conversation may be awkward, having the ability to pass along family values and being able to explain why decisions were made in the way they were can bring a family peace of mind.

Source: fidelity.com, "Tips for estate planning conversations", accessed on Aug. 27, 2017

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