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How children can talk to their parents about estate planning

For children, starting that estate planning conversation may feel intimidating or even impossible. You want to talk to your parents because you know they haven't done enough planning -- or any at all -- but you don't want them to be insulted. You don't want it to sound like you're just trying to find out what you're going to get when they pass away.

At the same time, you know how important estate planning is. Many people put it off, but not having a plan when it's needed can lead to confusion, arguments among heirs and many other issues. So, how do you get your parents to talk about it?

One of the best ways is simply to create your own estate plan. Draft a will. Pick a guardian for your own child. Set up a trust to control your assets. Get a life insurance policy with a beneficiary. Create a medical power of attorney and a legal power of attorney. These are just a few of the different steps you can take.

After you get your own plan in order, it feels far more natural to bring it up. Mention the process you went through and gently ask if your parents want to do the same thing. This helps you start the conversation and it also shows them that you do think estate planning is important, that you're not just interested in what they'll leave you.

If you have not done your estate planning yet, make sure you know exactly what legal steps to take. This is a very important process and it's crucial not to overlook anything.

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