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Estate planning discussion may help family understand wishes

There are many times in life when families need to have discussions that will not always go easily or as planned. One topic that some Massachusetts families may not easily discuss is estate planning. Adult children may not want to think about their parents' eventual demises, and parents may worry about children will react to their end-of-life wishes. Nonetheless, it is important to have this conversation.

In order to work toward having a smooth discussion, individuals may want to ensure that the environment created for the conversation is safe. In order to achieve this, it may mean presenting some rules for the discussion. For instance, families may want to allow only one person to talk at a time, and they may also want to dictate that the discussion is private and not to be shared with individuals outside the family.

The manner in which the topic is brought up could also set the tone for the conversation. If a parent suddenly declares the desire to discuss end-of-life wishes over a normal family dinner, it can seem unsettling. However, if the parent tells loved ones ahead of time that this is a topic he or she wants to discuss and give reason for the discussion, family members may be more receptive.

Estate planning can have many impacts on surviving loved ones, which is why discussion is often important. If family members have no clue what a loved one may have put in a plan, the outcomes could be shocking and possibly upsetting. By planning ahead, Massachusetts residents can give their loved ones time to come to terms with their wishes and obtain clarification when needed.

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