Estate planning is one of those things that we all know we should do, but it’s also one of those things that many of us put off. Why? Probably because it’s a difficult conversation to have. But it’s a conversation that needs to happen as soon as possible. Some of the things that you can do while getting started include:
Ensuring that everyone is involved
Usually, estate planning conversations only involve the people who will be inheriting your estate. But it’s important to include everyone who might be impacted by your decisions – including your spouse, children, parents and other close relatives. This way, there are no surprises down the road.
Selecting the right place and time to have the conversation
Estate planning conversations can be difficult, so it’s important to choose a place and time where everyone feels comfortable talking. This might mean having the conversation over dinner, during a family vacation or even during a weekend getaway. You may also want to consider hiring a professional to facilitate the conversation.
Be honest about your estate
Estate planning is all about making decisions about what will happen to your estate after you die. So, it’s important to be honest with your family about your estate – including its size, value and distribution.
Listen to your family’s input
Estate planning is not a one-way conversation. It’s important to listen to your family’s input and take their wishes into consideration when making decisions about your estate. For instance, you may want to consider giving your children a say in how your estate gets distributed. Last but not least, estate planning is an ongoing process. Your estate – and your family’s needs – will likely change over time. So, it’s important to review your estate plan periodically and make changes as needed.
Estate planning can be complex, so it’s important to take your time and make sure that everyone is on the same page. By having an open and honest conversation with your family, you can make sure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.