ESTATE PLANNING: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HOLIDAYS
The holidays can be a great time to discuss estate planning.
Commonly, the winter holidays are the only time that the entire family gathers. These gatherings create an opportune time to discuss your estate plan. Creating an estate planning is important. Conversations about your estate plan may be difficult to initiate. The following advice may make the process easier.
Remove distractions and interruptions.
Sensitive subjects will need to be discussed. Have the meeting between you and your kids or you and your parents only. Details of your plan can be personal and emotions might occur that grandchildren or in-laws do not need to see. If you cannot have a separate meeting, try to talk to each child or parent individually.
Be open to suggestions and opinions.
Likely, you have thought about planning but not discussed it with others. Express your wishes. Do you have a cherished pet that you would like looked after? Do you have a family farm that you want to stay in the family? What are your medical preferences? Have you discussed who will be your Power of Attorney and/or Patient Advocate? Ultimately all decisions are yours. You should be comfortable with the what you decide.
Express that this is important to you.
Be prepared to hear, “it is your stuff and whatever you do is up to you” or less likely, “why does brother get this instead of me?” This gives you the opportunity to explain your thought process. Many families have fallen apart after an estate has been administered due to jealously or lack of understanding. Simple explanations can clear up confusion.
Decisions do not have to be final.
Keep in mind that estate planning documents can be fluid. Amendments can be made. But, it is important to have a plan in place.
Lastly, estate planning involves reflection on what you have and the ones that you care for. Take a moment to give thanks and appreciate the time spent with family.
If you wish to discuss estate planning with an Attorney or review existing documents, call Steven Storrs at 269-945-2242 or click here to contact me to set up an appointment to discuss your options.
*This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney before making important decisions regarding your individual situation.