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Discussing estate planning with family makes sense

While some may find the process of preparing their estate a complex and intimidating task, even more daunting may be discussing those plans with family members and loved ones. Broaching the subject of one's departure from this world may be uncomfortable, and some families may even consider the topic of death taboo. However, because events may unfold that place family members in the position of making life-and-death decisions for a loved one, estate planning discussions may provide a solid framework for those decisions.

In addition to assigning assets to beneficiaries, a well-prepared Oklahoma estate also includes arrangements for end-of-life contingencies. For example, family members may want to know if their parents or older relatives are living within their means and if they have provided for future medical expenses. Additionally, with the many options available when a person becomes incapacitated or unable to care for him or herself, sharing one's preferences through an estate plan is a kind way to relieve one's family of having to guess -- and potentially argue over -- what is best.

Of course, in many minds, estate planning is restricted to writing a will and distributing the assets. However, in some families, such distribution may not be done equally, for whatever reason. Sharing this information and the reasoning behind it may prevent disputes that could ultimately harm the relationships of those left behind.

Some advisors recommend beginning family estate planning conversations early in life. In fact, some grandparents find that discussing their wishes with their grandchildren is a way of handing down important values. In any case, the discussion of an estate plan is moot if a plan does not exist. With the many options available to those in Oklahoma, the assistance of an attorney may prove invaluable.

Source:, "How to talk to your family about your estate plan", Paul A. Merriman, Sept. 9, 2017

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