Is it time to have “the talk” with your kids about your estate planning? It can be hard to have these conversations with your family. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Preparation Is Key
1. When you choose important decision makers, make sure you match the skills of the person to the job.
For example, the Personal Representative (also known as the executor) of a will must be able to gather assets, prepare paperwork, handle finances, and deal with potential family disputes. Don’t choose a Personal Representative that isn’t up to that job. Too often, people choose executors, trustees, guardians, and powers of attorney based on emotions or arbitrary factors, such as who is the oldest child or who might be offended if not chosen. These are difficult, demanding jobs, and you need to choose people who can handle them. It also helps to talk these issues through with an experienced attorney or confidant in advance of making your selections.
2. Prepare your paperwork.
Work with your lawyer to make the best decisions possible, and commit them to writing. This will help reduce any misunderstandings about your wishes.
3. Think about the questions that your family might ask.
For example, if you are worried that one child will be upset because you named another child executor, be ready to answer questions about why you made that decision. Your explanation will go a long way toward reducing any hard feelings and potential disputes after you’re gone.
4. Come Prepared for Business
Once you have your family together, it is important that you not only let them know what your decisions are, but also that it is important to you that they support you and each other. Have copies of your documents available so your family can ask questions about them.
If someone just can’t get onboard, remember that you are dealing with your life and your assets. The ultimate decisions as to how you handle them are yours, and you can even terminate the meeting if necessary. Also, make sure your family knows that your decisions may change as time goes on.
5. Remember that the goal is to provide your family with more than just a set of legal documents outlining your wishes.
By talking to them about your intentions you are helping them gain understanding, comfort, and even buy-in with your plan.
Call (813) 902-3189 to book your Estate Planning Session. We can help you gain peace of mind!