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Having an estate plan talk with your family matters

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Estate Administration & Probate, Estate Planning, Heirs & Beneficiaries |

Talking about your estate plans and inheritance during a family gathering will often not be lighthearted. It means discussing two taboo topics—money and death—so it is understandable if one may hesitate to initiate such dialogue. It might make more sense to have a pre-party meeting or formally set aside time to discuss the matter. Whatever the setting, openly discussing your estate plan with your family can eventually benefit you and your loved ones.

Communicating the plan is the final step

Many estate planning professionals deem having the “estate plan talk” as the last step of the estate planning process. Family gatherings can be a good starting point, but you may opt for a more private meeting if it will ensure a smoother and stress-free discussion. This is important because:

  • You can reduce conflict and confusion when you pass away.
  • You can help your heirs set realistic expectations about their inheritance.
  • You can gather valuable insights and perspectives from them.
  • You can help them become familiar with the assets and complexities involved.
  • You can answer their questions and clarify your intentions.

The most vital part of the discussion is explaining your intentions, regardless of whether you share the full details or exact monetary amounts with your heirs. If you are unsure what to discuss with your family, you may ask an experienced attorney in Maryland’s estate laws.

An extra step in fulfilling your wishes

People often hesitate to discuss such matters because they fear upsetting one or more of their beneficiaries. However, the alternative to communicating your plan can have consequences. For instance, what if only you know the documents you have prepared for your estate and where they are kept? Or what if your family may not be fully aware of the extent of your assets?

Of course, every situation is unique. Taking the time to discuss your estate plan, whether at a family gathering or not, is an extra step towards achieving your goals.