Imagine a typical scene at your household during the holidays. It probably includes just about your entire family gathered around one table – two if you have young children in your family tree – discussing all sorts of topics, from current events to days of yore. Even if you're the one traveling to a relative's house, this scene is likely to unfold.
While your first thoughts are probably about cheer, celebration, and light dinner conversation, you need to consider that this is an ideal time to bring up estate planning questions and concerns. Wills, trusts, and asset distribution are all matters that really should be reviewed by your entire family – why not bring it up while they are all in one place?
If you are worried that estate planning might not be the most fun topic to discuss, check out these hints on how to touch the subject and what should be addressed when you do:
- Mention the future: At some point, someone is going to be talking about future plans, guaranteed. You can slip in mention of your loved one's estate plans then if you do not want to bring it up outright.
- Keep it light: There's nothing inherently upsetting about estate planning – it is just discussing the future stabilities of you and your family, after all. Don't dwell on the fact that someone has recently passed away, or that they are entering their golden years.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions: If someone at the table has created a will or a trust already, you shouldn't hesitate to ask them if it is up to date. Oftentimes, people forget to revise estate plans after major life events, such as the birth of a grandchild. Reminding them here could do everyone a big favor.
- Find out where: The best estate plan in the world means zilch if you can't actually find and reference it after someone passes away. Your loved ones probably haven't intentionally hidden it away but may have just forgotten to tell you where it is.
Ready to talk to your family about estate planning? If the answer is still "maybe not," don't worry! It can be a considerable hurdle for anyone. At the Law Offices of David A. Shapiro, P.C., our Los Angeles trust attorney can help you understand all that needs to be discussed. Also, if you have questions about drafting an estate plan, we encourage you to call 310.853.1554 today and request your free initial consultation!