When most people think of Thanksgiving, they think of good times with extended family, bountiful plates of food and, maybe, some difficult conversations. While many of these talks are stressful, and some may be unwanted, there is one tough conversation that is definitely worth having. Since you’ve got the whole family together, the holidays are the perfect time for estate plan conversations with your loved ones. Because these talks can be sensitive, though, it’s important that you approach them in the right way.
Why Talk to Your Family During the Holidays?
Common wisdom has it that there are certain things you don’t talk about with your family—especially during big get togethers. These include politics, religion, and financial matters. But while skipping the first two may be a good strategy, it’s never a smart idea to avoid important estate plan conversations with your close family.
Whether you’re worried that your parents are not properly protecting their assets or you’re anxious about how your loved ones will react to your own estate plan, it’s essential to your family’s well-being that you address these issues. Families that don’t talk about important financial issues are far less likely to successfully transfer their wealth to subsequent generations. In addition, not having everyone on the same page when it comes to your estate plan can lead to some unpleasant surprises after you’ve passed on.
Since, for many families, the holidays are the only time when everyone gets together, it’s often the sole chance you really have to really engage in important estate plan conversations. Yet, nothing can ruin the mood of a holiday get together more than an ill-timed talk. Therefore, it’s essential that you go about setting up these tough conversations correctly.
How to Have Successful Estate Plan Conversations with Your Family?
Springing the conversation on your unsuspecting family members at the Thanksgiving table isn’t likely to make anyone happy. It’s always a good idea to prepare the way for discussion beforehand. Giving the people you need to talk to a heads up before you meet for the holidays can be a good way to do this. When it comes time to have the actual talk, pick a quieter moment when everyone isn’t so busy.
When you do begin talking about estate planning, be sensitive to everyone’s different levels of comfort. Not everyone feels at ease talking about financial issues, but it’s important to explain why these are issues that need to be discussed. During your conversation, make sure you cover all the concerns that you have, including medical issues, the different roles each person will play in the estate plan, the allocation of different assets, and the importance of hiring an experienced estate planning lawyer.
Get Started on Your Estate Plan Today
If you have any questions about talking to your family about estate plans, the attorneys at Caress Law are here to help. To learn more, do not hesitate to give us a call at (503) 292-8990 or fill out the contact form below.