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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Talking To Your Family About Your Estate Plan

How can I bring up the topic of estate planning to my loved ones?

You’ve taken the vital step of creating an estate plan, but now it is time to talk to your family about your last wishes.  Broaching the subject of estate planning with your loved ones can be daunting. After all, estate planning involves delicate subjects like who will receive what assets and with whom you have entrusted the care of your minor children.  Below is a look at some tips on how you can approach the discussion of estate planning with your family so that everyone can walk away feeling comfortable and content.  

Prepare Everyone for the Discussion

Suddenly bringing up the topic of your estate plan during breakfast or a family dinner can leave your loved ones feeling unprepared.  Further, haphazardly delving into a discussion as to your estate plan without preparation may lead to saying things you did not intend. For these reasons, it is best to plan in advance for your conversation about your estate plan.  Let everyone know when and where you want to have the discussion, and give them a good idea about what you want to talk about.

Set Some Ground Rules

You want everyone to feel that they are in a safe space and can freely communicate their ideas during your estate plan meeting.  To facilitate dsuch, you will want to set ground rules and communicate them to all of your loved ones who will be in attendance. Examples of positive rules include allowing only one person to speak at a time, agreeing to be respectful of all, welcoming all perspectives, and embracing questions.  Such ground rules can help to allow for a positive discussion.

Make Your Plans Clearly Known

Once you have scheduled a time and place and set the appropriate ground rules, you will want to prepare for what you will say.  If you have already created an estate plan, you will want to decide how to best lay out your wishes to your family. Be clear on your plans so that your wishes will be followed.  If you are seeking opinions in order to formulate an estate plan, start with your thoughts and move from there. When in doubt or in need of assistance, contact an estate planning lawyer for assistance.

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