The Wealth Advisor
Don’t Put Off Till Tomorrow What You Can Do Today: Why It’s Time to Talk with Your Family and Your Estate Planning Attorney
There’s no perfect time to broach the subject of estate planning with your family. We all know that everyone passes away eventually, but many of us often want to conveniently forget that reality.
Faced with the decision between taking the initiative to start a family discussion about estate planning and putting it off until later, most people are more inclined to the latter. But that means opening your family up to some really unpleasant consequences in the future. That is why, unappealing as it may seem at first, the perfect time to schedule your family meeting is now.
The short- and long-term value of calling a family meeting
Contrary to what you might expect, the best way to begin usually isn’t to talk about specific documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney or your assets. Rather, it’s to have a conversation with your family about goals, plans, and hopes for the future.
In the short term, you’ll meaningfully connect with your family and express the care for them that your estate plan represents. In the long term, you can sleep more soundly knowing your family will be prepared to know you have a plan as well as the reasons you designed it the way you did.
How to get started on securing your family’s future
It’s much better to start this discussion while everyone is still here (and doing well) rather than waiting until after a loss or significant medical issue. After all, no one is psychic—it’s much easier to carry out someone’s wishes if they’ve been explicitly stated and discussed beforehand. And when everyone in the family knows what to expect in the event of a death in the family, they can spend that time focused on supporting one another and grieving rather than scrambling with paperwork. In some cases, sharing the reasons behind your plan can even eliminate or minimize conflict that sadly too often occurs after the death of a parent or grandparent.
Schedule a meeting with us before the holidays
Law Offices of J.R. Hastings • 1003 Third Street, San Rafael, California 94901 • 415-450-6692