Creating an estate plan is a highly personal event. It requires people to open up and make plans for what they want to happen to their personal property, who they want to make decisions on their behalf, and what type of legacy they wish to leave.
Once those decisions have been made, it is often a wise idea to discuss the plans with loved ones. This can be a difficult conversation to have, especially if there are unusual or unexpected terms in the plan. Below are some tips for how to make these discussions go a little easier.
Be clear on the details
This article from Kiplinger points out that when a discussion is sprung on loved ones, or if it goes in a very different direction than they might have expected, the discussion can be more tense than it need be. Instead, try to approach the conversation by giving them time to prepare, then set some ground rules for the discussion. This can help everyone feel more comfortable in unfamiliar territory.
Don't rush the conversation
You may not need or want to explain every decision you made in your estate plan, but don't feel like you should rush through the conversation, either. This can be especially true if there are complex assets involved or complicated terms to discuss. Give yourself enough time to discuss your intentions, as well.
Leave room for questions
Don't explain your plans then expect the discussion to be over. While your wishes and decisions may be clear to you, your loved ones may have questions. Be prepared and willing to answer them. Making sure the conversation goes both ways can allow everyone to benefit from the discussion.
Creating an estate plan is a critical task every adult should complete. However, to ensure your wishes are clear, talk to your loved ones about your plans. Discussing it with loved ones is an important element in ensuring everyone understands your wishes.