Once you have made an estate plan, you might believe you can just pat yourself on the back, safe in the knowledge that you have taken care of everything.
However, like any plan, if you are the only one who knows about it, everyone else will be surprised to learn what your wishes are after you’ve passed away. As this kind of surprise can lead to confusion and frustration, you may want to discuss some of the details of your plan with your family in advance.
Your plan may call upon them to help you
An essential part of estate planning involves planning for your ill health. If you have made an advanced health care directive or given someone power of attorney, your family needs to know this. Otherwise, they cannot ensure that your choices are respected.
Your plan might inspire conflict
If your estate planning choices could leave anyone feeling hard done by, then you may want to explain your choices to them while you still can. It reduces the chance that they will contest your will or start a family dispute over their inheritance.
You want to make things as easy as possible for your family when you die
Your death will undoubtedly be a difficult time for your loved ones. They will be overwhelmed with grief even if they knew your death was coming. The last thing they need is to spend days trying to track down documents such as your will or work out who you put in charge of the trusts you made. Knowing you have everything planned out and that they know where to start can allow them to focus on grieving rather than paperwork.
Learning more about the various estate planning options available can help you create a plan for your unique situation. Consider seeking legal guidance before speaking to your family so that everything is ready when you sit down to talk.