An estate plan is the best gift you can give your family.
The idea of eating turkey with a side dish of death isn’t for everyone. But estate planning law expert, Dennis M. Sandoval experts, and many other end-of-life experts say the holidays are an ideal time to have hard conversations about final preferences and plans.
“People come home for the holidays,” said Ellen Goodman, the longtime columnist and reporter who co-founded The Conversation Project, which provides kits to kick-start end-of-life discussions. “It’s one of those times when we’re together. It’s something that’s important to talk about.”
Many people put off estate planning despite the certainty of death. Financial matters and death are both emotionally charged topics that no one wants to discuss. Making decisions about how much (and when) to tell your children about your estate plan is one of the most challenging aspects of the estate planning process. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most people prefer to put off having awkward family conversations and discussing their estate plans.
The truth is, estate planning is for those left behind, not for you. The best gift you can give your family is a well-designed estate plan. Make sure that your affairs are set up so that they benefit your family, friends, and charities the most. One of the most important parts of managing your estate is communicating your wishes and estate plan to your loved ones. Too often, family conflict and stress result when a loved one passes away, primarily because they did not communicate their wishes beforehand.
Creating a well thought out estate plan for your family is the best gift you can give your loved ones. As a result, your family can avoid probate when you pass away. Additionally, when it comes to avoiding probate, trusts are also attractive because the property held in a trust does not become part of your estate upon death.
Most conversations between children and parents or grandparents take place between middle-aged and elderly members of a family, but all adults should be included. Family conversations are better and easier when everyone is involved, so don’t just put your grandparents or parents in the hot seat. While it can be difficult, there are also some very good reasons for having a detailed talk with your family about your estate plan.
The goal is to ensure that people’s preferences are respected. By discussing your assets and your plan now, not only does it help with reducing guilt and depression, the talks can also help family members cope after a loved one dies. When the family members can explain that the goal is to understand what matters most to the person at the end of life, the conversation changes.
The following are three steps you can take to give your family peace of mind, avoid future family conflicts, and explain your end-of-life wishes.
- Schedule A Family Meeting
By scheduling time to have an estate planning conversation, it gives everyone time to mentally prepare and gather any documents needed to map out a plan (Don’t forget, though, having these conversations is an act of love!). Make sure the key decision-makers are present, your spouse, adult children, parents, and other key family members who will be impacted.
- Explain Your Final Wishes
Tell your family members your end-of-life decisions, where your will or trust is located, and who your estate planning attorney is. Explain to them why these decisions are important to you.
- Go Over Your Estate Plan
If you choose, you can share the contents of your estate plan with your family in detail or very generally. Many parents who talk about their plan with their children are surprised to discover that their children sometimes have good ideas. Each family is different, however, discuss these details is the best way to avoid future family conflict when you die.
A trusted family attorney can also be very useful in helping you explain your final wishes to your family and provide information about your estate plan. If you need help telling your loved ones your final wishes, ask an experienced estate planning lawyer for guidance. Contact us talk to Dennis M. Sandoval, or one of our qualified attorneys at Sandoval Legacy Group at (951) 888-1460.
Trusted Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney
Creating an estate plan is just the beginning of your estate planning journey. Our team of experienced and trusted attorneys provide a comprehensive and integrated plan to ensure your legacy and protect your loved ones. We know discussing end-of-life plans can be difficult, but we approach this delicate conversation with respect and dignity. Our estate planning services cover all areas of elder law & probate based on your specific financial & health situation. Start planning today. Expert estate planning, elder and tax law attorney, Dennis M. Sandoval, and the Sandoval Legacy Group team area ready to assist you.
Contact A Southern California Estate Planning Attorney
With thirty-plus years of experience as an estate planning and elder care law firm in Southern California, you will have the best legal minds to guide you. The team at Sandoval Legacy Group, A division of Holstrom Block & Parke, A Professional Law Corporation, have offices located throughout Southern California in Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles county. If you have questions or concerns regarding your estate plan, elder or tax law, or probate, contact us or give us a call at (888) 502-2881 to schedule a free one-hour consultation.