Sometimes we avoid talking to our families. Maybe it’s because the family isn’t as close as it used to be or maybe we need to talk about a difficult topic. But like certain life events, some conversations just can’t be avoided – like talking about estate planning. Everyone should know how and when to discuss their estate plans with their families.
First, the How.
Make sure you have an estate plan to talk about. Then gather all your documents together, at least the ones that you want to show to your family.
Take a few moments to plan out how you will present your plans. At a formal meeting? Over the Thanksgiving dinner table? Find a place that is good for you and your family, a place where everyone feels comfortable.
Then, when you start talking to your family, keep it simple and straightforward. Some topics you may want to cover include:
- That you have signed estate planning documents;
- The location of your signed, original documents;
- Your attorney’s contact information;
- Your long-term health care plans;
- Your end-of-life health care beliefs and preferences; and
- Information about pre-paid funeral arrangements and preferences for a memorial service.
Once you have your information lined up and have decided to speak with your loved ones, it’s time to have that heart-to-heart.
Next, the When.
What’s the best time to discuss your estate plans with your family?
As soon as possible.
Don’t wait because you are afraid the conversation might upset people. Death is inevitable, even if we feel uncomfortable talking about it. You may escape incapacity or disability, but it’s still best to let your family know how you want to be treated just in case.
Think about your family’s schedules and how often you communicate with them. When do you get together? Would you feel comfortable talking with them at a holiday get together? If you can’t talk face-to-face, can you communicate online or by telephone?
Talk to your loved ones before anything happens. Wouldn’t you like your family to be as prepared for the future as possible?
Not Comfortable Talking with Your Entire Family?
For some people, the thought of meeting with their entire family can be daunting. If this is how you feel, just meet with people you trust, especially people you have selected to be executors or personal representatives. At the very least, they need to know what your plans are and where your important legal documents are located.
The Most Important Thing to Remember.
Make your plans now! Get your life care plan set up by talking to a qualified Alabama estate planning attorney as soon as possible.
Your Pathway to Peace of Mind Starts with a Phone Call.
The attorneys at Adams Miller, LLP can help you assess your needs and develop the right plan to meet those needs. For a free consultation, contact us at 256 251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham and we help clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.