What Should You Be Telling Your Family About Your Estate Planning?

Posted on: 4 January 2017


Like many people who are planning what will happen with their assets after they pass away, you might be limiting many of your financial planning discussions to your estate attorney only. However, being able to talk to your family about the issues that will affect them when you die is important for many reasons. For one thing, they can start to process their feelings about what your plans are while you're still around to discuss them; they can also offer input and suggestions that will make everything easier for all of you. In particular, you should be talking to your family about the following things related to estate planning.

Who Your Beneficiaries Are

One of the most challenging things for family members to learn after a loved one passes away is that they are not beneficiaries or that there are beneficiaries no one knew anything about. The shock and pain that people feel is made worse because of the grieving they are going through, and their loved one cannot be contacted to explain why things unfolded that way.

That's why you need to talk to everyone about which members of your family will be receiving something from your estate and which ones will not. If there is a sensitive situation or relationship that will result in additional beneficiaries that your family does not currently know about, consider telling them so that they are not shellshocked later. They may have questions or just want to vent.

Who You Want to Run Any Businesses

If you're a business owner in addition to a relative, you may have a successor in mind. This information is incredibly important to share now because that may cause unpleasant feelings among other relatives, but more importantly, the person you have selected needs to be trained. In addition, they may not even want to succeed you. For the sake of your business and possibly your family's livelihood, talk about it now.

Where You Keep Documents

It is one things to talk to your family about different accounts and insurance documents, but you need to make sure that they know for sure where those documents are kept. Should anything happen to you, they will need to know where to find your accounts and papers. If your estate attorney, such as Wayne E Janssen Atty, has possession of all these items, be certain that everyone in the family knows their contact information. That is important so that they can contact your lawyer directly instead of having to go through other family members.

When you're able to have frank talks about the issues above, your estate planning can be done in a more comprehensive way. Keep working with your estate attorney to finalize all necessary documents.