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Estate planning conversations are worth having

Ideally, a South Carolina resident will form an estate plan before they become ill or pass away. However, it can be difficult to bring up the subject of money or a person's mortality. Regardless of who starts the conversation, it should be brought up in a gentle and respectful manner. Instead of focusing on uncomfortable subjects like death or taxes, it may be best for parents to talk to their kids about their financial values.

Doing so may help to prepare them for a time when mom and dad aren't able to manage a child's finances. Adult children who bring up the topic of estate planning will ideally frame it as a conversation about wills, trusts or other tools that might be beneficial for the family as a whole. It is important for family members to keep working toward creating a trust or other plan documents even if it is an uncomfortable or slow process.

Family dynamics can sometimes make it difficult for parents and children to communicate about what the future holds. Therefore, it may be a good idea to work with a financial adviser who can facilitate conversations about financial topics. Ideally, parents will have a tax planner and an accountant on their estate planning team to ensure that their current and future needs are met.

Trusts can help an individual keep assets in their family for generations to come. The terms of the trust may prevent a beneficiary from squandering an inheritance or making other decisions that a parent may not agree with. Legal counsel can help a client create a trust or take steps to review or amend one that already exists. Unlike wills, trusts can take effect as soon as they are executed.

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