The holiday season is here, and while that means spending time with your family and other loved ones, we think the holiday season is also a great time to think about your life plan. After all, much of the estate planning process is focused on providing your loved ones with financial support and protecting them from difficult decisions that you can – and generally should – make on your own. So, why not use the holiday season as an opportunity to have some important conversations with everyone’s long-term best interests in mind?
While your life plan is personal to you, many of the decisions you make while preparing your life plan will have significant implications for your loved ones. So, here are five tips for discussing your life plan with your children, siblings, and other family members this holiday season:
Tip #1: Have a Plan
When you bring up an important subject such as how you intend to distribute your assets or who you want to make important decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so, it is a good idea to have a plan. Know what you want to achieve – or at least what options you want your loved ones to consider – and be prepared to lead the conversation. Our blog provides a wealth of information on a variety of life planning topics, and you can search our archives to find information about the specific topics you want to discuss.
Tip #2: Be Comprehensive
While you certainly do not want to monopolize everyone’s time during holiday gatherings, if you are intending to discuss your life plan, you will want to be as comprehensive as possible. In other words, don’t overlook any issues that might need to be addressed. After all, it might be another year until you have a similar opportunity to discuss your life planning goals in person.
Tip #3: Be Prepared to Answer Questions
Since the point of having these kinds of discussions is to allow everyone to make informed decisions, your loved ones are likely to have questions. Whether they want to know what it means to be appointed as your trustee, personal representative, health care surrogate, or they want to know whether they will have to pay taxes on any assets they receive after your death, try to come prepared with as much information as possible.
Tip #4: Be Prepared to Ask Questions
In addition to answering your loved ones’ questions, you will likely want to ask them some questions as well. Is your sibling comfortable serving as your health care surrogate? As your children’s guardian? These are questions that are extremely important to discuss in order to avoid putting your loved ones in uncomfortable situations.
Tip #5: Be Open-Minded
Finally, when discussing your life plan with your family, it is important to be open-minded. While you likely have your own goals, and while it is absolutely your life plan, the purpose of having these kinds of discussions is to make sure that everyone is on the same page with regard to the terms you incorporate into your plan.
Contact the Law Offices of Mark F. Moss to Discuss Your Estate Plan Today
Do you have questions about the life planning process, updating an existing plan from out-of-state, or the types of issues you should discuss with your loved ones? To speak with attorney Mark F. Moss in confidence, please contact us today.
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