You took time to plan your estate so that your loved ones understand your end-of-life wishes and know how you want to handle your assets. Do you know how to discuss the contents of your estate with those closest to you?
To help, Fidelity offers tips on starting the estate conversation. Ensure that friends and family get (and stay) on the same page regarding your legacy.
Focus on the advantages
Understandably, your adult children may not want to talk about your death. If so, stress the importance of discussing your estate and making your desires clear. Illustrate your point with examples of people who did not talk about their estate with loved ones and the pain and confusion it caused. You do not want your estate to go through probate or your children to argue with each other about the contents of your will because you did not discuss the matter with them before you died.
Consider the time and place
Discussing death, money and end-of-life desires requires the right setting. Maybe you could start the conversation at a family dinner, over the holidays or at the yearly family reunion. If you have several adult children, try to pick a time and place when everyone may attend the meeting. You do not want one of your children to feel left out or overlooked, as that may sow seeds of misinterpretation.
What are your personal intentions surrounding letting your loved ones in on your estate plan? Whatever those intentions are, share them with your family. They must know what you feel represents the most essential aspects of your estate and legacy.
Work through any discomfort you feel about discussing your estate plan. Those closest to you benefit from your bravery.