Setting up an estate plan is a great start to accomplishing your estate planning goals. But too many times we take the plan we’ve drawn up and lock it away until it’s needed. In this series, we’ll take a look at what you can do now to make sure that your estate plan will actually meet your goals when it’s time to be carried out.
Part 2: Discussing Your Estate Plan
Discussing your estate plan with your loved ones can be difficult, but it’s one way to ensure that your wishes will be carried out.
The most important discussions should happen before you draw up your estate plan. These are the discussions you need to have with anybody you want to assign responsibility to. Those people include guardians for your minor children, trustees, powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney. Make sure that person understands what you’re asking of them and is willing to take on the tasks that come with the position.
After you draw up your estate plan, it’s a good idea to go over what you’ve decided, in general terms, with the people who will be executing it. For example, trustees will probably want to have at least a basic idea of how you set up the trust so they know what to expect.
Finally, many family members have emotional attachments to some of your personal effects, like family heirlooms. Being up front about why you made certain gifts can soothe any hurt feelings, not to mention avoiding a court battle.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how much of your estate plan you want to share with others. But a few honest discussions now can avoid some of the headaches and stress down the road.
Next: When to Update Your Estate Plan