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How to discuss estate planning with your family

How to discuss estate planning with your family

Estate planning is a difficult topic for families. However, it’s an important conversation to have. The best approach is to try and understand what you can do to help your loved ones prepare their estate plan or help them better receive it. Below are a few tips to include in your plans.

  •  Have difficult conversations before a decline in health. Remember, no matter how stressful this conversation may be now, the situation will be even more difficult and stressful if a loved one passes away without an estate plan.
  • Include all family members in the conversation. Since inheritance is a common point of contention in families after a relative passes away, the best way to minimize conflict is to ensure all relevant family members are included in conversations on estate planning from the very beginning.
  • Establish an understanding of the estate plan among family members. Establish a general understanding among family members of what’s included in the estate and how it will be divided to avoid surprises later on.
  • Make sure all family members understand their roles in the plan. Who is the executor of the estate? Is there a guardian if minor children are involved? Who are the agents for the power of attorney? Family members typically fill these positions, but it’s a good idea to make sure these relatives are comfortable with being assigned a role within an estate plan.

Most families build trust among themselves the more that they communicate about difficult topics. Ultimately, estate planning requires trusting those you name, whether family or professionals, will handle your affairs as you wish them to be handled. Click here to learn how to avoid pitfalls when communicating end-of-life wishes to your family.