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Talking about estate planning over the holidays

Many families in Louisiana have a hard time discussing financial issues with each other. When families gather together, adult children may want to take the opportunity to talk about estate planning with their aging parents. It's important to broach the topic in a respectful way and let aging family members know that planning ahead is in their best interest.

Establishing a trust as part of an estate plan can help aging parents when they are no longer able to work or organize their bills. When the topic is brought up, adult children may tell their parents that it would be better to have financial matters settled while everyone is healthy rather than waiting until there is a crisis to figure things out. Often, family members do not take the time to even discuss trust planning until someone is in the hospital. At that point, it can be difficult to act on the ill person's behalf.

Even families with excellent communication skills may need estate planning help from an outside party. Speaking with a banker is often the first step to setting up a financial trust, and it may be wise to bring along a professional fiduciary during those meetings. By enlisting the help of professionals to handle complicated estate planning processes, families can focus on maintain good relationships with each other.

An estate planning attorney may be able to help a family to meet their estate planning goals by establishing financial trusts and powers of attorney. An attorney may draft the trust documents and make sure that all parties involved understand how the estate plan will work. If a family has already set up an estate plan that they are unhappy with or confused about, an attorney may be able to help the family restructure it.

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