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How to Discuss Your Estate Plan Goals with Your Loved Ones

Estate Planning

Even if you’re ready to create an estate plan and begin planning for the future, that doesn’t mean your loved ones will be ready to have that conversation. Even if your loved ones don’t want to think about these challenging topics, it is still crucial to discuss your estate plan with them. Doing so can help avoid unpleasant surprises and streamline the estate management progress after you pass.

Learn more about how to talk about your estate plan with friends and family. When you’re ready to move forward with your estate plan, call John H. Ruby & Associates at 502-373-8044 to discuss your next steps with our Louisville estate planning attorneys.

Develop Your Estate Plan Ahead of Time

It is generally recommended that you have your estate plan drawn up before you go into this conversation. This means that you will have already made the important decisions, discussed the potential consequences and hiccups with your attorney, and come up with solutions. If you enter this conversation with just a vague idea of what you want to achieve with your estate plan, you won’t be able to answer your family members’ questions. You want to have a good understanding of how your estate will be handled when you pass so you can make your family members feel confident about your choices.

Think About Potential Questions and Tough Topics

It’s worth spending a few minutes thinking about what your loved ones are likely to take away from your estate plan discussion. Knowing them, what questions will they have? What concerns will they have? For example, if you have a family member who’s a lawyer, they’ll likely want to ensure that you are working with an estate planning lawyer to cover all of your bases and prevent estate planning fraud. If you have a family member with whom you co-own a business, they may wonder if you’ve made plans for how your share of the business will transfer when you pass away.

If there are any tough topics that may come up, prepare ahead. For example, if someone is receiving a smaller share of your assets than they may have expected, be ready to explain your reasoning and thoughts.

Set Up a Conversation at the Right Time and Place

You’ll want to plan this conversation ahead of time. Choose a setting where everyone can relax and talk openly—so a restaurant at peak dinner rush is probably not ideal. You may want to meet at your home or in a calmer setting where you can rent a private room. Try to schedule the meeting in a way that avoids family members’ major projects, stressful events, and other things that may keep people from being fully present.

Explain Your Goals and Strategies

After giving a brief overview of your estate—brief is better, because you don’t want to overload them with more information than they can handle—give an explanation of why you made the choices you did. You may want to explain your goals, such as protecting your legacy, supporting your charitable causes, or setting up the next generation for financial success. If your family is unfamiliar with estate planning in general, you may want to talk about how different parts of your plan achieve those goals.

Welcome Questions and Concerns

It’s important to avoid this conversation becoming a lecture. Make sure it’s an open conversation. If people have questions, you can answer them in whatever level of detail you are comfortable with. If anyone is angry or seems intent on escalating the situation, you may want to suggest a private conversation away from the group. While you may be satisfied with your estate plan as it is, it’s possible that your loved ones will raise some valid concerns. If they do, jot them down and set up a time to discuss them with your attorney.

Ready to Start Your Estate Plan? Contact John H. Ruby & Associates Now

Wherever you are in the estate planning journey, it’s a good time to take the next step with a lawyer. Set up a consultation with the team at John H. Ruby & Associates to get started. Just call us at 502-373-8044 or fill out our online contact form now.