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Talk About Your Estate with Family Members


How to Talk to Your Loved Ones About Your Estate.

Allocate your assets

An estate plan can provide enormous peace of mind — for both you and your loved ones. Talk about your estate with family members to create a plan that everyone is comfortable with and to ensure your loved ones avoid strife down the road.

Broach the Subject

There are ways to approach this often-uncomfortable topic in a sensitive way. Choose a private, comfortable setting and a time when your family members are receptive to the conversation, such as during a walk or after a meal. If your loved one is resistant to the topic, offering up a story of how a friend suffered a hardship because there was no plan in place can offer a non-imposing way to broach the seriousness of accomplishing the task, says Attorney Kristin Dittus in Denver, Colorado.

Being upfront and honest about your distribution of wealth and assets will help your family and friends avoid the unexpected and reduce any resentment that they may otherwise feel. It gives them the opportunity to express any concerns or objections. But, remember, the decision is ultimately yours.

Put it in Writing

Hiring an estate-planning attorney will make the process much easier. A professional will ensure all your paperwork is in order and help minimize tax liabilities. Dittus suggests completing a will and powers of attorney so you, instead of the courts, are in charge.