Talking about death and money is an uncomfortable topic for many- especially when both are in the same conversation. It is common that people avoid talking about wills to their families and that they don’t know until the family member has already passed. However, it is important that your family should know what will be coming after your death.
Although this is often an unspoken topic, it is still a conversation that should be had. If you pass away without explaining your will, it is possible that some trouble may arise. By sharing your estate plan with them, they can plan for themselves for the future. If you explain why you split your assets the way you did, it can help avoid possible family fights. In addition, it can clear up any possible trouble for your family in the future. For example, if you wanted your oldest daughter to inherit your house but she doesn't want to live there, she is burdened with a house she doesn’t want. By telling your estate plan to your family, it can give the chance for your family to say what they don’t want.
In order to begin talking to family about your estate plan, you can bring it up at any time but if you need some occasions to weave in this topic into conservation, here are some:
- Change in job
- A milestone birthday
- Family gatherings
- Update on your will
- Mention of other families fighting due to the passing of an acquaintance
It is important to include all family members that are in your will when discussing your estate plan. Although you can individually discuss it with each family member, it can be time-consuming and confusing. The most efficient way to discuss this would be when everyone is gathered together so that everyone is on the same page. It is possible that some family members will have extreme reactions but regardless, it is best for you to remain calm and answer any questions they might have.
When sharing your estate plan, be sure to include the topics below in the conversation as well:
- Discuss the asset distribution and explain your reasoning
- Let them know who your attorney, agents, and important documents relating to your estate are
- What to do if you ever become incapacitated
When discussing distribution of money, it is your choice if you want to include numbers with those statements. Most people do not include the exact amount of money that they plan on giving to their family members since it is a touchy subject. Especially when there are uneven distributions of wealth among children, it might be enough to just state that they will be giving a portion of your money each. If you choose to do so, explaining that you want some of your assets to a charity of your choice can prevent any confusion after your death to family members.
Creating a thorough and proper estate plan allows your loved ones to be at ease in the future. Talking to them about it is also part of the process as it can relieve and save problems for the future. If you or a loved one need assistance in estate planning, please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2394.