Estate planning isn’t something you should try to do all by yourself; after all, your estate plan affects all of the people in your life, and in particular your family. As such, it’s important to sit down with them and have some clear, open, and honest communication. The problem is, having a positive conversation about estate planning—a topic that encompasses money, mortality, and other taboos—can be tough. In getting started with estate planning, the first big hurdle you’ll face is simply getting your loved ones to listen open-mindedly, and to open up with each other about these sensitive issues. Avoid the lack of communication at all costs!
In this post, we’ll introduce just a few practical steps you can take to get your family talking. For direct estate planning assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Singh Law Firm directly.
The first step we’d recommend is reaching out to your family members in advance and simply letting them know what you’d like to talk about. Don’t spring a heavy estate planning conversation on them at the last minute!
Arguments and uncertainty arise when discussions for estate planning become sudden or are not clearly stated in the agenda. Avoid discussing such matters without notifying family members properly.
And note that there is no need to go beyond your family’s normal means of communicating when planning to talk about estate plans. Simply let everyone know that you wish to discuss it at your next holiday gathering or big family meal.
Estate plan discussions may feel out of the ordinary, and can constrict family members. Time may be needed to lay down new ground rules to help family members (especially younger ones) communicate their needs better. This gives them the space needed to discuss things more openly.
Above all, just be patient—and remember that your estate planning discussion may need to take place over a couple of different meetings.
You may file this under estate planning for dummies, but it needs to be said: Everyone’s going to bring a slightly different communication style to this dialogue.
Simply put, people have different approached and habits when communicating. Some may dominate a conversation while others would prefer to wait till they are the last to speak. Know these different quirks to better plan your estate planning conversation.
A final note: Talking about inheritance and related issues is never exactly easy, and it may even be something you dread. Even so, you don’t want to put it off, and risk something tragic happening with your estate plan in disarray.
Take the initiative to invite your family members into a discussion; to carefully weigh how best to communicate with each of them; and to let them know when you get to the point of writing your will and other practical concerns.
Effective estate planning requires clear communication between all the parties involved—including you and all of your loved ones. Be honest with them about your end-of-life wishes and what you hope to achieve through an estate plan. Also speak candidly together about asset allocation, distribution, and related matters.
To be more informed in your estate planning discussion, you can also come meet with Singh Law Firm. We can advise you on creating a plan, writing a will, establishing trusts, and more. A seasoned and experience estate planning law firm, Singh serves the needs of individuals and families throughout California.