J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Attorney and CPA

Holidays can be a good chance to discuss estate planning

Last week, people all over the country gathered with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. For many families in Polk County, Thanksgiving is probably synonymous with an indulgent family meal, and table conversation on a wide spectrum of topics. Although some of those conversations may touch on controversial subjects that result in lively debate, estate planning is probably not one such topic.

Even though estate planning may not be a favorite subject for dinner discussions, the holiday season can be a good time to address this important issue. This is especially true given that many parents do not openly discuss their estate plans with their children. For example, a survey from the website Caring.com showed that 58 percent of adult children have no knowledge regarding the contents of their parents' estate planning documents.

If children or other potential heirs don't know where to find a testator's will and other important estate planning documents, it can create headaches for them when the person passes away. Likewise, understanding the contents of the estate plan can help family members or other heirs to collaborate and prepare for the future.

Having a conversation that includes death can be difficult. However, getting all relevant family members up to speed on an estate plan can help ensure that the process goes smoother when it comes time to execute that plan. If a person in Florida needs help initiating this type of discussion, an experienced estate planning attorney may be able to facilitate it with appropriate family members.

Because the holidays are a natural time to get family together, they can also be a time for families to discuss these kinds of difficult topics. Moreover, once they have the initial conversation, family gatherings can be a good occasion to discuss any necessary estate planning updates.

Source: TheStreet.com, "Thanksgiving Dinner Is a Perfect Time to Discuss Estate Plans," Jason Notte, Nov. 19, 2016

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