Estate planning is an essential part of any financial plan. While you may think that having an estate plan is place is diligent enough, sharing that plan with your family is just as important. Many people do not want to upset their family by bringing up a potentially unpleasant topic, but instead of thinking of it as a plan for the end of your life, consider it a financial continuation plan for your family.
Your estate plan will include you will, insurance, and power of attorneys. All of these strategies will have been put in place to ensure your family will be taken care of in the event of your death. Having a sincere conversation about this plan will only benefit your loved ones in the long run.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Talking to your family about the inevitable reality of your death can seem like a daunting topic, but with a little planning it will end up being a productive and helpful conversation to have. It’s a good idea to start by making a list of the people you want to involve whether that be your spouse, children, relatives, or other potential beneficiaries to your assets.
Making certain that the right people are there will ensure that things are dealt with swiftly when the time comes. Be sure to speak candidly to explain why this is an important discussion to have and why it’s not meant to be upsetting or morbid.
While it is a good idea to share details of your estate plan, it may be counterproductive to share the intricacies of “who gets what”. Though we like to think our loved ones wouldn’t be concerned by what they will inherit, it is all too common that someone feels that they have been treated unfairly in a will. It is best to keep this information private as to prevent anyone feeling left out or persuading you to change your mind. Therefore, it is a good idea to compile a list of topics that you want to talk about. This will keep you on track.
A few things you may want to consider disclosing to your family are:
- Where is your will located?
- Who are your powers of attorney?
- Do you have a safe and if you do, where is it?
- The location of personal papers such as birth certificates, passports etc.
- A list of your investments and bank accounts
- A list of your financial advisors, lawyers, and accountants (Include how to get in touch with them)
Giving a quick overview of this information will ensure that your final wishes are understood and carried out as desired. Disclosing this information to you family before it is too late will prevent undue stress when the time comes for your family to settle your estate and distribute your assets.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Don’t shy away from having meaningful conversations with your family about estate plan. Take the time to explain your plan in a positive, comfortable time in your life instead of waiting for time that is potentially stressful and traumatic. It is also a good idea to arrange for your advisors to meet with your family so they have a familiar face they can contact if something were to happen to you.
For more information or to discuss further, please feel welcome to contact us.