Estate planning is not a topic most families discuss during the holidays. However, the holidays are an excellent time to bring up estate planning with your family for several reasons. During the holidays, you have a better chance of gathering all family members in the same location to have an in-person conversation.
Additionally, the holidays provide an easy intro to discussing an estate plan. You can begin by telling your family how much you love and appreciate them and transition into your desire to protect them even after your death. Our California estate planning attorney offers tips and suggestions for discussing estate planning during the holidays in this blog.
Tips for Using the Holidays to Bring up Estate Planning to Your Family
It is probably not polite to bring up estate planning during your holiday meal or when everyone is gathered to open gifts. Therefore, you need to time your discussion about estate planning. Generally, a good time to discuss estate planning is after everyone has eaten and the festivities have wound down. People are relaxed and engaging in general conversation.
Things to keep in mind as you prepare to discuss estate planning over the holidays include:
- Have a strong introduction to the topic. If you can use an example, that would be helpful. For example, explain the challenges a family faced when a co-worker had a family member die without an estate plan.
- Plan your talking points in advance. Topics to cover when discussing estate planning include medical decisions, insurance, Will, trusts, taxes, and roles in the estate plan (i.e., guardians, trustees, personal representatives, powers of attorney, etc.).
- Offer to help family members who have not started their estate plan and provide family members with resources they can use, such as checklists, articles, and the name of your estate planning attorney.
- Focus the conversations on your desire to be prepared so you can provide for your family members and reduce the stress of probating an estate. Avoid discussing your death in detail. Instead, focus on how having an estate plan means you control what happens to your property. Otherwise, the California intestate laws determine who your estate is divided and who can receive a share.
- Explain that discussing estate planning is much more than discussing which family members get what property. It is a way to show that you care about your loved ones and prepare for unexpected events.
You should be prepared to answer questions about your estate plan and estate planning in general. Therefore, you may want to meet with your estate planning lawyer several weeks before the holidays to review your estate plan. During your meeting, your attorney can provide information you can use to answer questions about estate planning and how to address specific topics that might arise during the discussion.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our California Estate Planning Attorney to Learn More
Estate planning can be a challenging topic for families. Our California estate planning attorney at Loew Law Group can help you prioritize the topics you need to discuss with your family and offer suggestions for making the conversation less stressful for all parties. Call our office to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss an estate plan to protect your family and property now and after your death.