Q: What is the best way to bring up estate planning with my family over the holidays?
A: Dear Festive:
First off, assure everyone that the conversation is about providing for the family’s future security and wellbeing, not prying into anyone’s finances, health, or personal relationships. Talking about planning isn’t about finding out how much money someone stands to inherit. It’s about ensuring everyone’s wishes are clearly understood and honored.
When family members don’t clearly understand the rationale behind one another’s planning choices, it can breed conflict, resentment, and even costly legal battles.
If you’ve already set up your plan, one way to get the discussion going is to explain the planning documents you have in place and why you chose them. If you worked with a Personal Family Lawyer® to create your plan, describe how the process unfolded and how they helped you create a plan designed for your unique needs.
Mention any questions or concerns you initially had about planning and how we worked with you to address them. If you have loved ones who’ve yet to do any planning and have doubts about its usefulness, discuss their concerns in a sympathetic manner, sharing how you dealt with similar issues whenever possible.
For more advice on how to discuss estate planning with your family over the holidays, contact a Personal Family Lawyer®. They can even facilitate such discussions, if that’s something you’re interested in.