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Five Tips for Discussing Your Estate Plans with Your Loved Ones

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

Bexar County Estate Planning LawyerCreating a will, trust, and other estate planning documents is a crucial responsibility that many people procrastinate as long as possible. This hesitancy is understandable. After all, it is very uncomfortable to consider your own death.

However, estate planning is important for every adult, regardless of age, health, or income level, and discussing your estate plans with your loved ones is an essential part of the estate planning process. It is important for key individuals to understand their roles in end-of-life decision-making and for beneficiaries to know what to expect in terms of inheritance.

Discussing your estate plans ahead of time can give you valuable peace of mind and help reduce the chances of a will contest or other legal disputes upon your death. As you prepare to have “the talk” with your friends and family, consider the following tips.

Choose the Right Time and Place

It is best to talk about your estate plans when you have plenty of time to fully explain your plans and answer any questions that arise. Consider asking your loved ones to come over for dinner or meet you at a neutral location where you will have privacy and the ability to talk openly. When these conversations are rushed, it can increase the chances of conflict or misunderstandings.

Explain How Assets Will Be Distributed

You do not need to go into specifics about dollar amounts, but it can be helpful for beneficiaries to know a general plan for the distribution of your assets upon your death. For example, you may wish to explain to your children that your estate will be split equally between them or that a certain percentage of your estate will be donated to charity.

Be Prepared for a Variety of Responses

Considering the eventual death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, or other family member is understandably upsetting to people. Prepare yourself for a wide range of responses during your estate planning discussions. Some family members may get quiet and have little to say. Others may cry. Some people even make jokes to ease the tension during this serious discussion. Try not to react negatively and consider that this discussion is just as difficult for them as it is for you.

Do Not Forget to Discuss Incapacitation Planning

Estate planning covers much more than the distribution of your assets. A strong estate plan also includes incapacitation plans. If you are terminally ill, do you wish to be placed on a ventilator? Do you consent to organ donation? Make sure your family understands how to handle the situation if you are severely ill and cannot communicate with them regarding your end-of-life wishes.

Make Sure Your POA Agent, Executor, Trustees, And Other Key Players Understand Their Roles

Inform the executor of your will about his or her role and what it entails. Make sure that he or she is willing and able to fulfill this role. Also, talk to the individuals who will act as your healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney. If you have set up a trust, you will also need to have a detailed conversation with any trustees or successor trustees about their responsibilities.

Contact a Bexar County Estate Planning Lawyer For Help With Your Estate Plans

San Antonio estate planning attorney Geoffrey Ray Mayfield provides legal advice and guidance regarding wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and much more. If you need to create an estate plan or modify an existing plan, attorney Mayfield can help. Call Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law at 210-535-0870 for a free initial consultation.



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