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Holiday family gatherings are great opportunities for discussing future plans

December offers many opportunities for family to gather and celebrate the holiday season. It's also a time when adult children, dispersed by life's demands, often return under the same roof as their aging parents. While it's still wise to avoid discussing politics and religion at the table, it can be the perfect time to bring up practical issues concerning plans for the future.

Here's why adult children should address proper estate planning this holiday season. Holiday family gatherings are great opportunities for discussing future plans ...

Speaking that which often goes unspoken

This subject is not simply a common victim of short shrift. Too often it gets no shrift at all. According to a recent survey by, more than 40 percent of adults lack even the most basic of planning documents. These would include a will or a living trust. Notably, the number of parents with minor children who have some form of plan in the event of death is even lower at just 36 percent.

The reasons given for this lack of action may vary, but many experts agree that the most prevalent has to do with denial. Despite its inevitability, many don't think about dying. At least not now. So, procrastination might factor in, too. But the reality is that it can happen anytime.

And, by dedicating time to talk about the subject of estate planning when family is together it becomes possible to begin identifying what assets exist, how you might want them to be leveraged to provide financial security in the event you become incapacitated and how you want them distributed when you die.

That is the gift of peace of mind and it is a treasure worth presenting during the holidays.

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