Oh, the holidays. As we prepare to get together with family and friends who live near and far, this time of year tends to bring up a lot of questions for everyone. With people being more mobile than ever, these opportunities for familial togetherness can feel few and far between. You may be wondering if you should bring up your estate planning with loved ones this year while you have the chance to speak to the key people in person.
Spoiling The Mood
The holidays aren't really a time when people want to talk about wills. The fact is, no time is better than any other time. You know your family best. It may be better to approach them one at a time, it may be more strategic to speak to Jane before John or vice-versa. Ask if they'd be willing to have a short discussion about the will at a certain point and time, and see what the response is. Remind them that if it doesn't happen over the holidays, it really should happen soon. Be prepared with what you want to say.
At the gathering, pay attention if a family member seems to have more trouble with things than they have had in the past. Are there some moments of forgetfulness? Repeating family stories is not necessarily a sign of forgetfulness, so watch for overall issues. An individual must have a certain level of competency in order to sign estate planning documents, sooner is better than later.
Don’t create a family feud
By planning ahead, the family will have a better chance of knowing exactly what you wanted to happen and who should get what. Let the person you name as Executor know that they will be in charge. Let other family know that they need to work with this person, not circumvent them. It is your will and your decision controls. You can prevent family squables later with carefule planning.It will take a little resolve and a lot of courage, but talking about it can play a big role in keeping relationships strong.
RB Legal can't make the discussion decisions for you, but we can make it easy to ensure the estate planning is done the way you want it. We can help you achieve your goals and take care of your family. For more information on how we can help, call with any questions or concerns you may have.