VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

Talking about your will with loved ones

The will and estate plan serves two primary functions. First, it's to make sure your wishes are carried out when you can't speak them for yourself. Second, it's to create a streamlined way to do so, with as few conflicts as possible. There are many difficult decisions when a plan includes sharing wealth or heirlooms with loved ones. Often, why decisions are made matters just as much as how.

Clarity

Misinterpretation is a common human issue: when a speaker says something, the listener hears something else. Sharing the decision-making process or rationale can provide peace of mind for your heirs.

Your estate plan is always your choice. Whether you wish to give everything to charity, to share with your children equally or to divide assets based on individual need, it's your choice. Whichever pathway you decide, your heirs will also have emotions in response. Money can be hard to talk about, but it's also important. Conversations that share monetary philosophy, concerns and knowledge strengthen your relationships.

Communication

As a recent article in MarketWatch discusses, sharing what is in your will is essential for making your intentions clear. Each family is different--some will prefer to discuss matters individually and others will discuss in a group setting--but the best way to create peace of mind is to share your thought process.

Main topics of discussion should include:

  • What is in your will
  • How it will affect related parties
  • Why you made that decision
  • How it will affect family relationships

Relationships first

Talking about a will combines two unpopular conversations topics in money and death, but the true value of relationships outweighs financial decisions. Clear communication is the best way to avoid hurt feelings or confusion. As MarketWatch summarizes, most people value relationships more than things. By discussing your will openly, you prioritize the relationship.

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