Talking to your loved ones about your will and other estate planning documents can feel uncomfortable. While you want your friends and family to have parts of your estate that are meaningful to them, a discussion about what you will leave behind might seem morbid and awkward.
The alternative is creating an estate plan without consulting your loved ones. Depending on your goals with your estate plan, letting your friends and family be surprised by their inheritance may seem like a good idea.
Here’s what you should know about talking to your loved ones about your estate plan.
Discussion can help avoid disputes
When your family does not know what to expect from your estate plan, they may have difficulty understanding the choices you made. After you pass away, your loved ones may be left debating whether your estate plan was created with undue influence.
Although your estate plan may be a sensitive subject, it can be worthwhile to let your family know your plans for passing down your legacy, especially if your plans change.
Getting comfortable with estate planning conversations
While there may be no way around your family’s initial awkwardness when you tell them that you want to discuss your estate plan, you can support the conversation by creating a more comfortable mood. You can begin by ensuring that you talk to your family at a calm and positive time for them.
Rather than waiting until you are struggling with your health, choosing to talk about your estate plan when everyone is comfortable can ease the tension around the conversation. You should also select a time to talk specifically about your plan instead of combining it with another occasion.
Your estate plan is an essential part of your legacy. Including your loved ones in your plans can bring peace of mind to everyone in the family.