Talking to family about estate planning

Talking about estate planning can be hard for families in North Carolina, but it is important to do so before a health crisis occurs. Parents can start early, discussing their values and how to manage money with their children when they are young.

Some people may want to consider whether a trust is the right choice for their family. Many people think of trusts as being only something that is helpful for the wealthy, but these versatile vehicles can perform many functions in different family situations. Whatever people choose as an estate plan, communication with family members is important. This might be facilitated by a third-party professional who can help talk to family members about their options.

In families where estate planning has not been discussed, it can feel like a difficult subject to broach. However, there is still time to change the dynamic and start a healthy conversation about money. Parents may want to begin by telling their children that they want to talk about their expectations for the future. Older children might begin by telling their parents that they want to ensure that they are cared for. This includes making sure that they can address medical issues in the way their parents would want.

A power of attorney for health care can appoint an individual to make medical decisions on an incapacitated person's behalf. Preparing in case a person becomes incapacitated is as important as other elements of estate planning, and it is important to keep in mind that this does not only happen to older people. People who have minor children might think about who they want to appoint as their guardian. This can be done in a will. Parents may also want to set up a trust for their minor children in case of the parents' death.

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