Estate planning rarely comes up in the course of regular conversation. When it does, it usually involves what happened to a celebrity’s fortune after their death. People don’t mind talking about it because the distance is safe from their own lives.
But what about when the time comes that you need to talk about estate planning with a loved one – either your own estate plan or the one they have (or should have)? Because no one likes to talk about the death of someone they love, people rarely have this critical conversation. But we all should.
Are you wondering about how talk to a loved one about estate planning? This Forbes.com article provides some good tips:
Pick the right time. If it is too difficult to schedule a time for this conversation, have it when you’re doing something else together, like taking a walk.
Start with a story. Use a story as an opener to the conversation, like the death of a celebrity and the havoc that failure to plan is having on their estate. Or you could start with how and why you created your own estate plan.
Talk separately. It may be easier for parents with more than one child to have separate conversations with each child rather than talking to them as a group.
Use a team approach. If you are having difficulty getting your spouse to focus on estate planning issues, communicate your concerns in terms of the two of you as a team. What your spouse may not be willing to confront alone may be more comfortable when the both of you are acting as a unit.
Ask for feedback. After discussing your estate plan with your children, ask them individually how they feel about what you have explained. It may not change what you are doing, but it will let them feel they have a voice.
Explain why. Explain to your children the principles that guided your decision about how your estate is being divided. This lessens the chance of conflict among siblings.
If you’d like to learn more about estate planning strategies for your family, call our office today at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.