It is common for families not to talk about such things as what they will inherit when mom and dad is gone. This type of conversation can be uncomfortable for parents, and make children feel as if they are doing something wrong for even thinking about such things. As a result the subject is often swept under the rug until the time comes that there is no choice but to talk about it. This can lead to some major family disputes because children may be surprised at what they parents wishes really were.
To make this conversation easier for everyone involved, it is a good idea to think about estate planning as a way to show your family that you love them. If you have an estate plan in place, when you die your family will have much less stress to deal with.
The best thing to do with your estate plan is to not let it be a surprise to those that it will affect. If you let your loved ones know what you have in mind as far as their inheritance, there will be fewer problems later. Even if they don’t necessarily like what you plan to do, they will better be able to accept it if they hear from you that it is what you want.
Broach the subject with your family when everyone is together, even if you need to call a family meeting for that specific purpose. A big mistake is to talk about your estate plan during holiday gatherings, as it may ruin the holiday for some, and cause hard feelings. If your family is aware that they are coming together for the purpose of discussing this touchy subject, they will be better prepared to deal with it.
Once you have given your family an outline of what you will have in your will or trust, you can then ask for everyone’s input so that their opinions can be considered. Of course you will still create your plan in a way that you feel is best, but at least if your children and grandchildren are able to give you their input, they will not feel as if they simply never had the opportunity to talk with you about it.
It is true that discussing your estate and eventual death with your family is a very uncomfortable thing to do, but it is definitely a step you need to take to keep peace within your family.