Do you avoid estate planning discussions?

In addition to religion and politics, there are several other topics many Pennsylvania residents often avoid. At the top of the list are finances and estate planning. Most understand the importance of the latter even though they procrastinate for one reason or another. The truth is, some people just don't like to talk about the inevitable fact that they are going to die someday.

However, a good estate plan is often executed long before death appears imminent. In fact, young adults are more often inclined nowadays to take steps to secure their assets and think ahead with regard to signing wills and other estate documents than they were in past decades. A key factor in crafting a solid plan is taking that first step to open a discussion and talk about your needs and goals.

What to talk about

So, you've finally decided to sit down with your loved ones and discuss your intentions to execute an estate plan. Now you're wondering what the focus of that conversation should be. Following, is a list of basics often included in estate planning discussions:

  • Financial matters: If you are under age 30, this may be a much simpler topic than it is for those advanced in age with far more years of business and personal experiences in life. Regardless of how complex or simple your particular financial situation is, any discussion regarding your estate should include goals concerning money and assets.
  • Designations: If you intend to appoint a power of attorney, guardians for your children (whether you have any yet or not), or trustees, etc., you may want to first discuss such matters with those you hope to designate to particular positions since they will incur certain duties and responsibilities in the process.
  • Family values and goals: Especially if you own or play a key role in a family business, estate planning discussions provide the perfect opportunity to talk about your goals as a family. A collective perspective is often helpful toward a personal plan.
  • Q & A: If anyone included in your conversation has questions or concerns about a specific duty you ask him or her to fulfill or some other aspect of your estate planning process as it involves others, it may be appropriate to address such matters during a round table discussion. (If not, then those conversations may take place privately at some other time.)

You can address many issues regarding medical, financial or personal affairs during estate planning discussions before you actually formulate a plan. You may wind up feeling like the conversation you initially avoided was a good idea after all! One of the greatest benefits of the estate planning process is that it's highly customizable; you can design the exact plan that best aligns with your particular needs and goals.

A Pennsylvania estate planning attorney can provide valuable information regarding probate and administration laws, as well as represent you in any type of litigation regarding a contested will or other probate matter.

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