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Think of your family during estate planning

Estate planning is an essential part of planning for the future. Many people know that creating an estate plan is important, but actually making an estate plan can seem challenging. Many couples with adult children struggle with how to address inheritance and other estate planning matters. 

Parents creating an estate plan should understand and define who specifically is in their family. A majority of parents include their children and grandchildren in their estate plans. When it comes to their children's spouses, though, things can get complicated. 

It is important for parents to have a meeting with their family about their estate plan and any wealth that will be passed on to beneficiaries. It is better to discuss your inheritance decisions with your children and other beneficiaries before you pass away. This will help alleviate any tension as well as allow you to answer any questions or concerns beneficiaries may have. 

Family members who are aware of your estate plan and inheritance may be less likely to contest your estate plan or argue with other family members after you have passed away. It is even more beneficial to discuss your estate plan if you are planning on passing inheritance to future generations like grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

After discussing your estate plan decisions with your family, it is important to review and revise your estate plan as necessary. Family members can change and you don't want to leave out any younger grandchildren just because you forgot to update it after they were born. 

Estate planning can seem complicated but it doesn't have to be. Individuals or couples creating an estate plan should consult an estate planning attorney for specific advice. 

Source: Reuters, "Who is family when it comes to estate planning?" Beth Pinsker, Oct. 29, 2013

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