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The Holidays Could Be the Time to Talk With Your Family About Your Estate Plan

 Posted on November 14, 2018 in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneysIt is unbelievable that the winter holiday season is already upon us. By this time next week, you will probably be on your way to—or at least preparing for—Thanksgiving celebrations with your family members and loved ones. Just a few short weeks after that, families will be getting together for Christmas. If your family is spread out around the country, the holiday season might be the only time your whole family gets together throughout the entire year. With that in mind, it may be the only opportunity you have to discuss important topics like estate planning.

Being Prepared

There is no question about it: it can be tough to discuss your estate plans. Voluntarily confronting the idea of death can certainly be uncomfortable, but the conversation is important. Discussing your estate plan does not necessarily need to take hours, nor does it need to ruin the fun of the holidays. You have the power to control the conversation and to keep things positive by preparing in advance.

For example, you may wish to:

  • Speak with certain family members ahead of time. The holidays are probably not the time to spring new responsibilities on your children or loved ones. For example, if you would like your son to serve as the executor of your estate or as a power of attorney, ask him privately before everyone gets together. Then, during the discussion with the whole family, you can inform them that your son will be assuming the discussed responsibility.
  • Outline what you are going talk about. Without direction, the estate planning discussion with your family could go on for hours—all but dominating the entire holiday experience. Instead, make an outline of a few key things you wish to cover, and do your best to stick to it. Of course, other tangential topics may come up, but try to limit those the best you can.
  • Focus on the important elements of your estate plan. For the purposes of the holiday conversation, it is probably not worth your time to talk about small details, such as which of your children will inherit your television. However, it is worth talking about things like where you keep your estate planning documents and your plans in the event that you become physically or mentally incapacitated.
  • Give your family a voice, not a vote. There is nothing wrong with getting feedback about your plans from your family members, but your estate plan is not a democratic process. While your loved ones have the right to their feelings, the decisions are up to you. Decide in advance which of your plans are final and which are open to suggestions from your family—and then tell your family that during the conversation. You have the right to politely but firmly remind everyone that you have made your decisions and that is how things are going to be.

Call a Lombard Estate Planning Lawyer for Help

For additional guidance regarding the holiday discussion of your estate plan, contact an experienced DuPage County estate planning attorney. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.



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