Talk to Your Family About Estate Planning

Talk to Your Family About Estate Planning

You’ve already taken the first step: developing an estate plan. Your Will, durable power of attorney, and advanced health care directive have been signed and are stored away. Now it’s time to take the next step. It’s time to talk to your family about estate planning.

Your Plan, Your Time

Talking about estate planning can be hard. In addition to discussing your mortality or incapacity, family members may be unhappy about certain parts of your plan. Regardless of the reasons people might become upset, discussing estate plans with your family has several important benefits:

  • Your family can rest easy, knowing you have taken care of your estate plan;
  • Family members may be better prepared to accept parts of your plan they may not agree with;
  • You can be more confident that your estate will be handled the way you want; and
  • Your courage and foresight may help your family make their own estate plans.

Only you know your family. Before having this discussion, think about how your family communicates. Choose a time and place that will be comfortable for everyone.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Talk to Your Family About Estate Planning

Families facing the death of a loved one are already stressed. Just imagine how your family will feel if they:

  • Have to file a guardianship proceeding to make final medical or financial decisions for you;
  • Had no idea if you even had an estate plan;
  • Can’t find the Will and related documents;
  • Go through probate that might have been avoided or at least made simpler if the decedent had prepared an estate plan.

You have already helped your family by making your estate plan. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to share the news with them?

Don’t Wait

Talking to your family about estate planning is not always easy. Just remember that open discussions about estate planning help your family as much as it helps you.

If you have not taken that first step, consult with an attorney as soon as possible to get your plan written. Attorney John Mangan is board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates by the Florida Bar. Please call us at 772-324-9050 or use our Contact Form to set up an appointment. We help clients throughout Florida, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie

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