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The importance of discussing estate plans with loved ones

Unfortunately, many Florida residents are reluctant to discuss estate plans with family and friends while they are still alive. For some, it is considered a matter of privacy. In some instances, this may actually be the best option. But if the family is close and has good relationships, it can be beneficial for all parties to openly discuss the plans.

If the estate owner never brings up the issue, their adult children may actually want to start the conversation. Of course, some adult children may struggle with whether it's their place to even bring the topic up at all. At the risk of seeming greedy in discussing what mom and dad are leaving behind, children could approach it from the angle of making sure their parents have enough to live on into retirement. With the ever-rising costs of nursing and long care facilities, this is a legitimate issue that will ultimately impact everyone.

Of course, if parents have made plans that treat siblings differently, that can cause problems. However, those problems will still be there after the estate owner's death. That's why heirs may be better off hearing the reasoning ahead of time. And perhaps most importantly, an open discussion can reveal that at least there is some kind of estate plan enacted.

If a person dies intestate (without a will), the state determines what happens to the assets according to a statutory scheme. This could lead to several issues for potential heirs. However, an estate planning lawyer can provide counsel and advice on various options based on individual circumstances.

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