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 want to forget that reality.
When faced with the decision between taking initiative to start a family discussion about estate planning or putting it off, most people are more inclined to the latter. Unappealing as it may seem, the perfect time to schedule your family meeting is now.
Procrastination is often the biggest obstacle to successful estate planning. It may have been a while since your plan was updated or reviewed. You may have never discussed it with family.
Contrary to what you might expect, the best way to begin talking with your family, usually isn’t to talk about specific documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Rather, it’s to have a conversation with your family about goals, plans, and hopes for the future.
Short Term and Long Term Benefits
In the short term, you can 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.
You should begin with meeting with your estate planning attorney to get your plan up to date. Then if appropriate in your situation, you may want to have a discussion about your plan with your family. 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.
Sam Swenson is the Attorney at The Swenson Law Firm in Orangevale. He assists clients in passing along their legacy through Estate Planning. Contact his office at 916-333-0833 to sign up for a seminar or consultation.