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Contemplating the probate process is often uncomfortable

The fact of the matter is that everyone will die someday, and many people could end up incapacitated beforehand. Most Massachusetts residents would accept these statements to be true, yet when it comes time to contemplate how they would like the probate process to go when they pass away, it can be uncomfortable. In fact, it can be uncomfortable enough that many people fail to engage in estate planning even when they know they should.

Unfortunately, the discomfort extends beyond having to face that the inevitable will happen one day. The estate planning process also forces people to look at their relationships with those closest to them. For instance, it might require an individual to face the hard truth that the relationship with a child or sibling has degraded to a point where that person would not be a consideration to make decisions on his or her behalf if the need arose.

There is also the possibility that loved ones, even children, could die before the individual doing the estate planning. This can be especially difficult when it comes to children, whom parents are simply not supposed to outlive. However, since no one knows what the future holds, the possibility has to be explored and accounted for in the documents that are drafted and executed.

The goal of making the probate process as easy as possible for surviving family members will need to take precedence over the contemplation of unpleasant situations. After all, taking care of family is what most Massachusetts residents cite as the number one reason for wanting an estate plan. In the end, the relatively short time an individual has to spend thinking about the worst case scenarios is nothing compared to the peace of mind the process gives to the individual and family.

Source: poughkeepsiejournal.com, "Estate planning can conjure up unpleasant things", Bernard A. Krooks, April 1, 2016

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