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How to start the estate planning conversation with your parents

Are you concerned that your parents don't have an estate plan? Do you worry that they're overlooking some important details?

If you find yourself in this position, you can step in and provide some assistance. The best thing you can do is explain the benefits of estate planning, as to ensure that they take the necessary action in the near future.

Here are a few tips for starting the estate planning conversation with your parents:

-- Make it a friendly conversation. This is not a time for stress and tension. Instead, it's a time to have a friendly discussion about their estate plan and whether or not it requires any attention.

-- Be sincere. Make it clear that you're having the conversation because you're concerned about their future. Also, be clear that this has nothing to do with your inheritance.

-- Stress the importance. Along the way, let it be known that the proper estate plan has many benefits, both to your parents and their loved ones. The more you talk about the benefits, the easier it is for your parents to realize that they need to focus on this important detail.

These are just a few of the many things you can do to make the estate planning conversation easier on you and your parents.

Once you have this conversation, you can work with your parents to ensure that the right steps are taken in the future. From there, all of you can rest easy knowing that everything is in order and no stone has been left unturned.

Source: Fidelity, "Tips for Estate Planning Conversations," accessed March 24, 2017

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