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Estate Planning Beyond Traditional Family

One of the reasons so many of us procrastinate when it comes to estate planning is a reluctance to think about death and dying. Another reason that may be even stronger is the need to make decisions. It’s not so hard to make an appointment with an attorney to draft a will. It’s much harder to decide what the provisions of that will should be.

No wonder so many people take the simple approach of “leave everything to my spouse and kids.” That works perfectly well for many families. It’s also pretty much what the probate code provides for if someone dies intestate.

But what if you don’t have a spouse or kids?

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Talking About Death, Money, and Emotions

One of the challenges in financial planning is the strong taboo in our society against talking about money. Another powerful taboo is talking about death when someone has a serious illness.
Given this strong reluctance to talk about both money and dying, how can you work with a financial advisor to deal with the financial and emotional issues that go along with a family member’s serious illness? Here are some suggestions

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Giving Kids the Best Financially

Almost all the financial decisions parents make around our kids have one thing in common: we want what’s best for them. This is the case whether we’re setting the amount of an allowance for an eight-year-old, helping a teenager make college choices, or deciding whether to loan adult children the money for a down payment on a house.

Here’s the problem: what we assume to be the best isn’t necessarily what our kids need or want.

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Sarah Cited in Article on Dementia and Financial Planning

An October 20 article at New Retirement, titled “How to Deal with Dementia or Alzheimer’s: 5 Retirement Financial Planning Steps,” focuses on preparing for and coping with the financial challenges of dementia. One of the keys to preparing for this possibility in retirement is “to have everything organized and known sooner rather than later.” That advice comes from KFG’s Sarah Swantner, who is quoted extensively in the article.

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Let Heirs Know Your Legacy Plans

Estate planning can be one of the most emotionally difficult aspects of financial planning. One often-overlooked aspect of estate planning is talking with your heirs about your legacy plans. While most of us probably accept in theory that these conversations are important, actually carrying them out can be terribly difficult.

Here are a few suggestions that may help.

1. Communicate your values about money in a larger context with both words and behavior.

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