Discuss your Estate Plan during the Holidays Together

The Holidays bring us all together, perhaps more than any other part of the year. We find it can be useful to have a conversation with your family about estate planning over the Winter holiday season, but it’s important to approach the topic with sensitivity and understanding. Estate planning can be a difficult and emotional subject for you and/or for them, but that can’t stand in the way of having one of the most important family discussions (assuming that birds-and-bees talk has already been tackled). Still, you want to make sure that everyone feels like they’ve been heard, and that they are willing to participate in the discussion at their own level of comfort.

We wanted to provide a few tips for having a useful conversation about estate planning with your family:

Plan ahead: Before you bring up the topic of estate planning, take some time to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Consider what your goals are for the conversation and make a plan for how you’ll address any potential concerns or questions that your family may have.

Choose the right time and place: It’s important to pick a time and place for the conversation that is convenient for everyone and that allows for an open and honest discussion. Avoid bringing up the subject during a holiday meal or in a crowded room, and try to find a quiet, private space where you can talk openly.

Be respectful and understanding: Estate planning can be a sensitive subject, so it’s important to approach the conversation with respect and understanding. Avoid being confrontational or judgmental and try to listen to what your family members have to say.

Be prepared to answer questions: Your family may have a lot of questions about estate planning, so it’s important to be prepared to provide answers. Consider bringing along any relevant documents or information that can help to clarify things and be ready to explain why you think estate planning is important.

Keep the conversation focused: It’s easy for a conversation about estate planning to become sidetracked or emotional, so it’s important to keep the conversation focused on the topic at hand. If things start to get off track, gently steer the conversation back to the topic of estate planning and try to keep the conversation moving forward.

Overall, the key to having a successful conversation about estate planning with your family over the Christmas holiday is to approach the topic with sensitivity and understanding. By planning ahead, choosing the right time and place, and being prepared to answer questions, you can help to ensure that the conversation is productive and respectful.

You don’t have an estate plan?

If you don’t have an estate plan in place for your family to address what happens to your assets, and who is in charge of various roles, during the critical periods when you might be incapacitated or have passed away, then now is the time to sit down with one of our estate planning attorneys. We offer a complimentary one-hour initial consultation to answer questions you might have, to explore your concerns, and to provoke thought about some areas and issues you probably have never even considered. We will provide you with our recommendations for estate planning strategies for your situation and be able to discuss the costs (and savings) your planning solution would involve. We can get started right away, or give you time to think about it, or even just part as friends if you don’t wish to proceed.  In any event, you will have your questions answered and a professional education on how estate planning can work for you and your loved ones.  All of this for the price of…free. We’ll even throw in a coffee or soda (and free parking) to make this gift even more valuable.

Call us now at (412) 253-7526 to schedule a complimentary consultation for you or your family member.  This may be the best gift you give your family this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is a conversational summary of a complex area of law and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. No person should rely upon the content of this article for making any decisions, and should instead consult with appropriate legal and tax professionals.

Estate Administration, Probate