As you create an estate plan, you may come to find that you have to share your thoughts, goals and other important information with your loved ones. For example, parents often have a conversation with their adult children. Just the same, you may find yourself discussing the finer details of your estate plan with your spouse.
Although it can be a difficult conversation, due to the touchy subject matter, you don’t want to shy away from keeping an open line of communication. If you continually hold back on your feelings, you may wait until it’s too late to get your estate plan in order.
Here are a few common situations and tips to keep in mind:
- Adult child: Discussing estate planning with your parents is a must. While you want to make yourself available, don’t push so hard that you come across as invasive. You need to offer your help, while making sure your parents have a sound estate plan in place.
- Parent: Do your best to share your estate plan with your adult children, as this often gives them the peace of mind they’re seeking. Rather than wait for your child to come to you, go to them to discuss your estate plan.
- Other relative: Maybe you want to speak with a grandparent about estate planning. Or maybe you feel the need to assist a sibling. The key here is that you don’t come across as someone who wants something in return. Show that you care, let the person know you’re available to help and leave it at that. If you push too hard you’ll likely run into resistance.
How to start a discussion
The most difficult part of discussing estate planning is getting started. Here are some tips to jumpstart the conversation:
- Choose the right time and place
- Be sincere, to show the person that you truly care about them
- Talk about the benefits of discussing estate planning
There’s a lot that goes into creating an estate plan, and obtaining help or providing assistance to a loved one is often important. When you combine your knowledge, while also focusing on your legal rights, you should feel good about your ability to create the right type of estate plan.