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How to talk to your family about your estate plan

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Estate Planning

While you don’t need to explain every detail of your estate plan to your family, it helps to have an open discussion, especially if you have a complex estate or the assets are not divided equally. Talking to them can eliminate the chances of inheritance disputes.

Below are three tips that can guide you during the conversation:

Have a series of conversations 

Estate planning conversations can be uncomfortable. For this reason, consider having a series of conversations instead of covering everything in one sitting. With time, the discussions should become more comfortable, at which point you can introduce sensitive subjects.

Give reasons where it feels appropriate

You don’t need to explain every decision to your loved ones, but it helps to give a reason for special wishes. For example, if you have given one of your children the family home or more assets than the others. 

Essentially, it helps to explain matters that are highly likely to result in disputes. The questions your loved ones ask during the discussion can help you determine such issues.

Consider their suggestions

A beneficiary should not influence the decisions you make in your estate plan. However, you should consider their suggestions. They may provide you with crucial information. 

For example, the heir you have chosen to inherit your business may be unwilling to do so, perhaps they have other projects they want to focus on. Encouraging your loved ones to speak their minds can help you learn about such vital details and, in turn, make informed decisions.

Communicating with your loved ones about your estate plan is an essential step. It will also help to get legal guidance to create a plan that substantially protects them.