Tips for Discussing Your Estate Plan With Your Family

Tips for Discussing Your Estate Plan With Your Family

While it can be difficult to spend time thinking about your own mortality, it can be extremely helpful and even freeing to discuss your estate plan and end-of-life wishes with your family.

Sharing your intentions in advance can help you to prevent arguments from happening after your death. It might be particularly beneficial if you feel as though one of your children or heirs might feel blindsided by the contents of your estate plan.

Here are a few tips to help you discuss your estate planning wishes with your family.

  • Don’t put it off: There isn’t really any benefit to waiting to have this discussion with your family members. By alerting them of your intentions earlier, it allows them the chance to become more familiar with your estate plan and wishes, and enables them to ask questions as needed. It also gives them a chance to learn more about the responsibilities they might have upon your death (such as becoming a trustee or personal representative) and what those roles entail.
  • Broach the subject carefully: Some people find it better to have a series of one-on-one conversations with family members, while others will find it better to have a single family meeting. Make sure you carefully consider the personalities of all of your family members and any potential for resentment or drama. You might consider working with a counselor who can help you work through some of the complex family issues you must confront to find the best strategy for having these conversations.
  • Wait until the paperwork is done: You should wait until you have completed your estate planning paperwork before you have these conversations with your family members, as this way there will be some greater finality to your decisions.

For more tips for discussing your estate plan with your family, contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.