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Talking to Your Relatives about Estate Planning in Ohio

Talking to Your Relatives about Estate Planning in Ohio
August 1, 2018 Shannon Dawes

With so many benefits to estate planning, you would think people would be eager to start the process. Estate planning can protect assets, avoid probate, save money, and provide for beloved family members. But according to a recent survey, 60 percent of adults in the United States do not have a will or living trust. The likelihood of having estate documents goes up significantly as people age — 80 percent of people in their 70s have done some kind of estate planning, compared to just 20 percent of people in their 20s and 30s — but not enough people are taking these important steps before they pass.

When people are polled as to why they have not made any end-of-life plans, they usually say they haven’t gotten around to it yet, don’t have enough property to leave to anyone, or haven’t found a good way to talk to their relatives about it. You certainly do not need to be wealthy to have a will or trust; it is important for people of all ages and incomes, especially if minor children are involved.

Death is not something anyone wants to think about but being prepared far preferable to never bringing it up. If you’re worried about speaking to your relatives about your desire to start estate planning in Ohio, consider these tips:

  1. Set a time to talk.To avoid the excuse of “I never got around to it,” set a time to talk to your family to ensure you actually do discuss your estate planning. Make note of the relatives who will need to know your intents and choices, and ask them to sit down with you on a certain day. Then make sure you follow through.
  2. Don’t let your family shut down the conversation. Most of us have probably thought or said, “I don’t want to hear this,” when a cherished relative opens up about plans for end-of-life. It is not easy to discuss the possibility of someone you love dying one day, but that is no reason to put off such an important task. Don’t let your family members shut down the conversation simply because it’s uncomfortable.
  3. Be sensitive to your relatives’ feelings but firm about your choices. During the conversation about your estate planning, be firm about your choices while considering your family’s feelings. Keep in mind that this is a difficult subject, and try approaching estate planning with your relatives as something you want to do because you love them and know they love you. Because you care so much about each other, you want to be sure everyone is completely protected.

If you are having trouble discussing estate planning or would like to start exploring your options for wills and trusts, an experienced Ohio attorney can make the process worry-free. Attorney Shannon Dawes will provide the compassionate legal advice you need. Contact Dawes Legal, LLC, today for an estate planning consultation by calling (614) 733-9999.