How To Talk with Your Family About Estate Planning
When working with estate planning clients, I recommend that they talk with their family about their estate plan. It can be very beneficial for family members as it provides some peace of mind for them to know that a plan is in place and that things are in order.
Ultimately, the level of detail that the client provides to his or her family members depends on the client’s comfort level. Some clients may want to discuss what they're trying to accomplish with their plan when talking with their children or family members. Many clients want to talk with their family about the details of the plan or share the actual plan itself, while others want to discuss the plan in more general terms to advise them that a plan is in place and advise them who to contact when and if that day comes to get copies of the documents.
Every family situation is different, and it is important to remember that working closely with your counsel, doing as much planning as you can ahead of time, and giving yourself the time and focus that you need for this type of plan you envision is critical to the success in the end. That said, prior to discussing a plan with family members, it is prudent to first speak with an estate planning attorney to determine what information will be discussed, and which family members will be involved in the meeting.