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3 tips for discussing estate plans with family

The holiday season is upon us, which means it is time for family gatherings. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss your estate plan with your family members. While it may not seem like the merriest issue to talk about, it can be beneficial for your whole family to have this discussion. 

However, you may have some concerns and anxieties about bringing this topic up at a holiday gathering. You can ease your worries by doing some preparation. Here is how to broach the subject of estate planning with your loved ones over a holiday feast.

1. Prepare documents

Once you figure out who you want in specific roles, such as executor, trustee and power of attorney, it is time to draft your documents. Write up the paperwork before you have a large family discussion. Make copies of each document for everyone to read. This will make everything clear. By leaving no room for misinterpretation, your family will understand your desires. 

2. Think up answers beforehand

Your beneficiaries will likely have plenty of questions about your estate plan. Anticipate some questions that may come up during the discussion. Be ready to explain your goals in your estate plan and why you choose particular individuals for certain duties. This will help you avoid getting caught off guard. When you are able to articulate your decisions, your family will be more comfortable. 

3. Set the tone

It is important to think about how you want the discussion to feel. If your family has a laid-back and easygoing demeanor, then you may be able to approach it casually. But if your family dynamic is prone to misunderstandings or arguments, you may want to go for a more formal touch. You can even bring your estate planning attorney if you think it is necessary. 

Talking to your family about your estate may be somewhat uncomfortable at first, but it is necessary to avoid misunderstandings and prevent arguments.

 

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