Conversations about estate planning can be stressful, difficult and uncomfortable. However, it’s important to be proactive with your estate planning by taking steps to ensure your family is not bogged down making decisions about your estate while they are grieving. Although it may be difficult to discuss your estate plans with your family, it’s better to do so now to diffuse future problems before they have a chance to develop.
Some common situations that complicate the estate planning process are children from different relationships, adopted children, multiple marriages, concerns about financial mismanagement, or fears that members of your family will be uncooperative and immature with one another. A will allows for the specific distribution of your assets. Another thing to consider is if you want to give anything to your stepchildren or anyone who isn’t a family member.
If you have concerns about a beneficiary being reckless with their inheritance, you can establish a trust to provide for designated distributions of assets to them. It may be a shock for a beneficiary to learn of such terms after your death. You may also want to consider a trust if your assets are sizable and you want to designate a specific person to manage your estate. Assigning a responsible person to be in charge of your estate will make the process smoother for all involved.
Taking the time now to have the difficult conversations about how you chose to care for the people you will leave behind and who will be responsible for distributing, may prevent or eliminate disputes and hard feelings when the time comes.
Dealing effectively with the various persons and personalities of family members and friends you wish to provide for in your estate plans requires the skills of an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.