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1 great tip for breaking the ice on estate planning

Did you know that roughly 50 percent of people in the United States have not done enough estate planning to even have a will? These people all know that they'll need one eventually, but they simply haven't drafted and filed one.

This is something people often put off because it means having a conversation with loved ones about death, a very sensitive subject. They may not want to bring it up with an elderly spouse, for instance, or may not want to sit down and talk to the kids about their own passing. It can feel awkward and troubling.

One tip that experts suggest people use is simply to look for a connection and use it as a bridge to that conversation. For example, perhaps an aunt passed away without a will and there was a lot of confusion and conflict among the heirs afterward. A parent could pull his or her spouse aside and simply note that it wouldn't be ideal for his or her kids to face all of those same hurdles. Another tactic is to look for news stories about celebrities who pass away and use them as a way to open up the conversation.

The nice thing about doing this is that it takes the sting out of that conversation. You're not talking about your own passing as if it will happen tomorrow. You're just pointing out that it's wise to be ready, based on something both of you are familiar with.

Once you break the ice, be sure you understand the legal process required to get that will in place.

Source: Time, "Half of Americans Don’t Have a Will. Here’s How to Fix That for Your Family," Kerri Anne Renzulli, accessed July 05, 2017

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