Estate planning can be private business that you manage on your own. You are the only one who is in charge of what is included in your plan. You get to make the decisions about what to do with your assets and how to pass them on to the next generation. You can also create documents like a medical power of attorney to help with future medical planning.
But should you tell your family? You’re not obligated to do so, but there are certainly some major benefits to being open with your loved ones. Considering what a few of these may be is an effort that may ultimately be worth your energy.
One reason to talk to your family about your estate plan is simply to consider the different tax strategies you may want to use. What is going to be best for each of your heirs? How can you reduce the tax burden on them and on your estate? Having conversations in advance can help you create a unique plan that works for your family.
You can also give your family and your heirs a sense of empowerment. This is their future, as well. By letting them be involved, the whole family is working together in a collective fashion. Nothing is being left to chance. You can also talk about family values and what is important to you specifically.
A common understanding
One of the major benefits of talking about estate planning is that everyone can get on the same page in re: what the plan is going to do and what it is trying to accomplish. Heirs sometimes get into disagreements simply because they don’t see things the same way. But if you talk with your heirs in advance, you can better ensure that everyone understands what is going to happen and why.
Reducing chances of a dispute
Finally, talking with your heirs can make it less likely that they will become involved in an estate dispute in the future. One reason is simply that they’ll understand what the plan is going to be in advance, so nothing will be a surprise. Additionally, they can ask any questions while you are still alive, rather than getting into a dispute with each other. This can make things go much more smoothly.
With all of this said, every situation is unique. If you are concerned about any aspect of the estate planning process, seeking personalized legal guidance can be a good way to start moving forward with greater confidence.