One of the most emotionally charged conversations you may ever have in your life has to do with estate planning. The topic is difficult to discuss, which is why so many put it off to the last minute. Nevertheless, estate planning is very important and the sooner it is handled, the better. Here you will find some sound advice about how to keep emotions out of the conversation while having the difficult talk with family members. For starters, you should break down the conversation into several meetings.
Excessive emotions in an estate planning conversation will quickly derail the entire talk, and people are bound to get heated in such a conversation. With situations like a terminal diagnosis, sudden illness, and accidents, emotions are already high so this is definitely not time for a talk about estate planning. It is far better to handle the conversation when things are not so emotionally charged.
It is imperative that estate planning is approached with transparency in mind – it will prevent any potential battles and contested wills later on – Follow these tips to get through the tough talks.
The Initial Conversation
Let this first conversation be where emotions are released and, if possible, addressed. Just let everyone have their say – there are no judgments and you do not push the issue. This is not the conversation to make important decisions.
The Second Meeting
This is the time to make sure that everyone has the same information about the estate planning and what will happen. When everyone is on the same page, it creates less stress. Once everyone knows what will happen with the estate, then they can focus on dealing with grief and respecting the wishes of the person who is no longer with us.
The Third Meeting
It is a good idea for you to meet the attorneys and advisors that your parents have chosen to handle their will and estate. Doing so will give you the added edge of familiarity when something does happen, you will not be meeting counsel for the first time.
The Fourth Discussion
This meeting is a good time to create a phone list of all the people one wants notified in the event of their passing, which will make the funeral arrangements, and the rest of the planning that needs to be handled, far easier. The more work done ahead of time, the easier it is to handle the situation of a parent’s passing when something does happen.
The Continued Relevancy of an Existing Planned Estate
It is a good idea to make it a point to reevaluate estate planning every so often – this will ensure that the senior’s wishes are met and that the will and estate plan remain current. It is important to make sure you still have the correct contact information for legal advisors as well.