If you are designing an estate plan, one of the things you need to do is to talk to those in your life about it. For example, if you have decided who you’d like to have as your health care power of attorney or financial power of attorney, that person (or those people) should be informed. Your estate plan is protective, but you need to inform those who you’ve included to help mitigate the risk of confusion when that plan has to be exercised.
Sitting down and talking to those you love about your estate plan may not be the easiest thing you do. After all, few people like talking about death or what people need to do if they’re seriously hurt or terminally ill. However, it is important that you have a discussion, because doing so will help you minimize the risk of confusion or arguments over the estate plan you’ve created.
How should you bring up estate planning with your loved ones?
It’s smart to have everyone in the same room and at the same table together when you discuss your estate plan, especially if you’re going over how assets will pass on or who will take over certain powers of attorney. Why? You want to makes sure that everyone knows what your intentions are and that there is no confusion.
By speaking with all the heirs, beneficiaries and others who will work with your estate plan, you’ll be giving them the time they need to ask you questions about your preferences and decisions. Sometimes, people may raise concerns you hadn’t thought about, too. In that case, you may want to consider changing your estate plan to eliminate those concerns and make yourself feel more confident that your wishes will be carried out.
It’s time to talk about your estate plan
Estate planning can help make end-of-life, emergency and post-death decisions easier for those around you. Discuss your wishes with them while you can, so you can go over what you’d like to see happen if you cannot make decisions for yourself or if your estate has to be distributed to your heirs.