Having an estate plan in place is crucial for everyone, regardless of your age or level of wealth. It is equally important to communicate your wishes for your estate to your family, as they are directly impacted by these decisions.
By being forthcoming and transparent with your loved ones, you can potentially prevent a lot of issues surrounding your estate. Legal Reader offers the following tips on how to talk to family about estate planning issues.
Start the conversation early in the process
Part of the reason estate planning is so challenging is the discomfort it causes. No one wants to think about their own mortality, and your family will probably exhibit equal discomfort around the topic. That is why you should start the conversation well before the time comes. Sitting down with your family when you are in good health relieves some psychological stress around estate planning. It also ensures you have ample time to change your mind should the situation change.
Have the conversation at the right time
Try to schedule the talk at a time when you and your family members feel at ease. Choose a quiet, comfortable location, such as your home or the home of a loved one. Make sure you and your loved ones have ample time to discuss the issue.
Use transparency and directness
Despite the discomfort caused by estate planning topics, directness is the best course of action. Given the importance of the task at hand, there is no need to lie or withhold information. Your family will find out what is going to happen regardless, and keeping them in the loop will help them feel more comfortable with your decisions in the long run.
A good estate plan changes along with your life. Accordingly, you should revisit pertinent estate planning topics with your family as your life changes.