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Talking estate planning with children difficult, but necessary

It may be difficult enough for some people in California to even consider creating an estate plan, but even those who go through the process may struggle to discuss the matter with their children. It is not particularly pleasant to think of one’s own eventual passing, but it may be even more stressful to bring adult children into the conversation. However, there are many reasons that it is important for families to have a discussion about estate planning and what they want for their assets after their death.

A difficult but important topic

One of the most obvious benefits to having this potentially tough talk is that it makes it more likely that the estate owner’s wishes will be honored. Some people may name their child as executor of the estate without even discussing the role and what it means. Not doing so increases the likelihood that an important matter will be overlooked. Though some may worry the subject is too somber, it can be an opportunity to demonstrate to one’s family members just how important the estate owner believes them to be. It is a great time to share what one’s priorities may be, which can help guide beneficiaries in how to use their inheritance.

There are even more practical considerations that this type of discussion may entail. Some heirs may not understand the tax implications of different types of financial assets and accounts, while the owner may be well-versed in that area. A conversation about estate planning in general can open up the topic of the potential impacts of different financial choices and reduce the potential tax consequences for heirs.

How to create an estate plan

For those here in California who feel ready to have this conversation but don’t have an estate plan, the best thing may be to consult a professional. An estate planning attorney may be a valuable resource for creating an estate plan or modifying an existing one. The attorney can help an estate owner determine available options and what that person’s goals for the future may be.

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