How to Start Talking About Estate Planning

Many people procrastinate when it comes to talking about Estate Planning. They simply don’t want to think about their own mortality or feel uncomfortable about having what they think of as a morbid conversation with a loved one. But estate planning is one of the most important things you can discuss, and it doesn’t have to be difficult to talk about.

There are a few tips to make the process of estate planning easier to talk about:

  •  Choose the right time- make sure that all parties can devote their full attention to the subject, and are not distracted or trying to do something else. You can schedule a meeting to discuss it and prepare yourself ahead of time to make sure the important details are covered.
  •  Use the experiences of others as an example- if your friend’s husband passed away without a will, you can relate what happened to her and how difficult it was to settle his estate without advance planning in place.
  •  Expect some questions about your decisions- If you are dealing with family resentments over the way an estate is divided up, it might help to explain the reasoning ahead of time why one daughter will receive her mother’s jewelry, and another will get the antique silverware.
  • Decide what is the best approach to get a partner on board- if your spouse is reluctant to discuss estate planning, remind them that you need to draw up wills for the surviving spouse or your children to avoid lengthy legal battles or probate issues.

Thoughtful estate planning can help maintain family harmony and avoid surprises after a loved one has passed away. Having that initial conversation about estate planning takes diplomacy, confidence, and a desire to do what is best for family or friends left behind.

For more information on estate planning, please contact us