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Talk to your parents about their estate plan before it's too late

Thinking of your parents aging isn't something that's easy, but now is the time for you to do one important task. You need to discuss their final wishes with them so that you know what to expect. When you do this, you will have the chance to ask questions and get clarification about what they want. This isn't going to be easy because it is an emotional topic. It might help for you to go into the discussion with a basic guideline to follow that helps you stay on track.

One of the first things to find out is where they keep their estate planning documents. You need to know this so that you are able to get it when they pass away. Some individuals might want to use a safety deposit box, but they must ensure someone can access that if they have passed on. It is usually better to have them on hand in the home or kept at the attorney's office.

Find out who they have named as the executor of the estate. This is the person who is responsible for the duties of the estate. This includes filing the final tax return, distributing assets and finding heirs. There might be other individuals named in the estate plan, including those who have powers of attorney over either health care, finances or both.

Finally, you need to know the contents of the estate plan if they feel comfortable passing this information along. This is a great time to ask questions if you think that there are mistakes or omissions in the estate plan.

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