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How should I address my estate plan with my family?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Estate Planning

Contrary to what many people would believe, one of the most difficult parts of estate planning is having a conversation with family members. Many people put off creating an estate plan because of the pressure that could come with discussing their last wishes with those closest to them. However, estate planning is still very important.

If you are planning your estate, it could help to learn how to talk to your family about what you intend to do with your assets and health care decisions. Here is what you should know:

Consider who needs to know about your estate plan

First, not everyone needs to know about your estate plan. Your last wishes are your own, and you may not want input from family members and friends. You could create an estate plan and limit the amount of people who know about your intentions. If you do decide to talk to people about your estate plan, you may want to consider making a list of those who you feel should be included. For instance, your executor of your estate and power of attorney are just a few people who should know about your intentions. 

Make your intentions of your last wishes clear

Telling family members and friends about how they may benefit from your estate may not be enough. You may want to talk about why certain beneficiaries are receiving more assets than others and stress the importance of your decisions.  

Do not expect everyone to be happy 

While many of your family members and friends may be fine with your last wishes, not everyone may be. You may consider talking to these family members to learn why they are frustrated or have concerns about your estate plan. This could help you adjust your last wishes to benefit your family and friends the most.

You can discuss your decisions with legal guidance to better understand how to communicate your last wishes with your family and friends.