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Family discussions about estate plans

Some people in Florida are uncomfortable talking to their family members about their estate plans. People should discuss their estate plans with their family members so that they will know what to do when the time comes.

People should ask questions about their family members' medical plans if their loved ones suffer incapacitating injuries or illnesses. They should find out what types of care their loved ones want to receive and if they want to be resuscitated. They should also ask about their medical insurance and if they have drafted advanced medical directives, living wills, and durable medical powers of attorney. If they haven't drafted these documents, they should be encouraged to do so. These documents allow incapacitated people to have some control over their care and to designate someone to make medical decisions for them when they are unable to make them for themselves.

Finances and how their loved ones want to distribute their assets is an especially sensitive topic for many people. Adult children should talk to their parents about how they want to divide their assets after their parents pass away. They should ask if their parents have wills, life insurance policies, or trusts. They should also ask if their parents have durable financial powers of attorney in place to designate someone to handle their finances if they become incapacitated.

After families have discussed their estate plans, they might want to consult with estate planning attorneys to learn about any documents that they might need. The attorneys might review the existing plans or draft plans for people who do not have anything in place. After their plans are created, people should review them regularly and make updates when changes in their lives necessitate changes in their estate plans. They should keep their family members informed about the changes that they make so that they will not be surprised.

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