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Discussing Your Will and Estate Plan With Your Loved Ones

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There are some topics that people find difficult to discuss with family and friends, and financial matters and end of life plans are at the top of the list. No one wants to contemplate their own or their loved one’s passing, but failing to have this type of discussion can create misunderstandings and costly delays in distributing assets, or even deprive those you care about from inheriting money or property you would want them to have. Whether you need to detail or finalize your own estate planning documents or want to make sure you are aware of the final wishes for relatives and friends, we have several ways in which you can bring these topics up during holiday get-togethers, without making everyone uncomfortable or dampening the holiday spirit.

Discussing Your Will and Estate Plan

When bringing up the topic of estate planning matters with your partner or other family members, it is natural to meet with some resistance. Revealing the money or assets you or someone else has acquired may seem inappropriate or immodest, while informing everyone of who is slated to get what in a will could raise uncomfortable questions or arouse hard feelings.

At the same time, it is important to know that a plan is in place, and to have a general idea of how each person fits into the picture. While detailed instructions and explanatory notes can be included in a will, discussing it in advance can smooth out potential disputes. A CNBC report on family estate plan discussions states that these talks can help with the following:

  • Making sure those due to inherit are aware of the assets possessed;
  • Avoiding hurt feelings or misperceptions by explaining why a particular person was chosen as administrator of the estate;
  • Explaining how it was decided on who gets what, particularly if the will is complex or unconventional in any way.

Meaningful Family Discussions

Discussing our own or a loved one’s demise may be the last thing on your mind this holiday season, but there are fun, easy ways to uncover pertinent information, while deepening your bond as a family. The Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) recommends the following activities:

  • Share your own memories of your family and holiday traditions you enjoyed as a child, while encouraging others to do the same.
  • Go around the room and have everyone state what they are most proud of, or what they would like to be remembered for.
  • Make a game of trying to guess each other’s favorites, such as favorite song, time of year, or place to visit.

These activities provide valuable insights and get everyone thinking, and are a great way to lay the groundwork for more detailed discussions of estate planning matters in the future.

We Can Help You Today

If you have questions about your own or a loved one’s will or need help developing estate planning documents, contact Hancock & Associates, P.A. today. Our experienced Florida estate planning attorney can help guide you through the process, answering your questions while always ensuring your best interests are protected. We have offices in Orlando and Tampa; call or contact our office online to set up a meeting with one of our attorneys. Same day consultations are available.

Resources:

talkofalifetime.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Time-for-Family-Time-for-Talk-Holiday-Guide.pdf

cnbc.com/id/48927062

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