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How to Discuss Estate Planning With Your Family

older couple talking to their daughter

While protecting your legacy and writing your will, you may feel the need to discuss your final wishes with your family. It can feel awkward and sometimes uncomfortable when discussing end-of-life plans, so our estate planning attorney shares tips on how to discuss your estate with your family.

Find a Meeting Time

One of the most important things you can do when discussing estate planning for the first time is to meet with everyone involved to discuss your wishes together. You may not need to meet with everyone simultaneously, but setting a time for your immediate family to discuss your will and estate can help the process. We recommend discussing your estate with your immediate family all at once, so no one family member is left out or hears of your wishes from another person.

When meeting with everyone, find a location where everyone feels comfortable, such as the family home. If that is not possible due to distance or illness, you can also coordinate a video conference with your family over Facetime, Zoom, or Skype

Share What You Feel is Beneficial

When discussing your estate plans, you don’t need to share every little detail. Instead, share what you deem the most important for your family to know. We recommend sharing:

  • If you have a will, and if so, where is it located,
  • Any major gifts,
  • Who your beneficiaries are,
  • If you are planning on donating to charity or another organization,
  • If you have any debt, and if so, how it will be paid off,
  • The allocation of any sentimental items or heirlooms, and
  • The care and custody of any children under the age of 18 or any pets.

Each family is different, so if you feel that you would rather not share all of this information, you don’t need to. This discussion can help you understand how your family may feel about your final wishes and if there are any adjustments that need to be made regarding custody of children or assets.

Give Everyone Time to Cool Off

During the discussion, tensions may flare. Family members may not agree with your decisions and wishes, but that is okay! After the discussion, give your family time to reflect and cool off. A few days later, you can always check in on your family members to revisit the discussion and see how they are feeling.

Embry Family Law P.C. Estate Planning Attorneys

Estate planning can be an emotional process. Our estate planning attorneys will help you establish your final wishes and prepare you for sharing important information with your family in a productive manner.

Do you need help sharing your estate plan with your family? Call our estate planning attorney today at (619) 485-6476 to schedule a consultation and learn more about sharing your last wishes.