Talking about your estate plan could end up one of the most straining and difficult conversations you have. But it is also one of the most important conversations. After all, this is your only chance to explain the reasoning behind your decisions.
How do you broach the topic, though? What is the best way to go about laying everything in the open?
MarketWatch discusses how to broach the topic of your estate plan with family. First, you need to understand why it is so difficult. No one enjoys thinking about the death of their loved one, so end of life discussions often hurt people. On top of that, talking about finances can dredge up tensions between family members. This is especially true when it comes to matters of inheritance and other beneficiary issues.
You can help ease these tensions by enlisting the aid of a mediator. Even well-adjusted families will struggle with some parts of estate plan discussion. A mediator can help defuse the situation if arguments get out of hand. They also ensure that everyone gets to speak their share and can clarify things that others do not understand.
Next, set the right time and place. Do not launch into a full discussion about your estate plan with no warning or preamble. Make a dinner night out of it, if you want. Get everyone in one place at the same time and go through the important subjects slowly and thoroughly. You may even need to have multiple discussions to reach that end, but it is worth it. Being thorough and careful ensures that your loved ones understand your estate plan and the logic behind it as easily as possible.