Thanksgiving and the holiday season are upon us. It’s a chance for us to gather with family, celebrate time-honored traditions, and eat lots of delicious food. It is also an opportunity for families to discuss estate-planning goals and plan for the future.
No matter what stage of life you are in, planning for the future is important. While ensuring that your loved ones are prepared if something happens to you is a necessary component, these conversations should also include more joyful matters— such as career ambitions, big moves, and a growing family. A short conversation now will help you realize all we have to be thankful for and save you from tremendous headaches in the future.
Here are a few tips for starting a conversation about estate planning:
1. Be courageous in the conversation. Many believe the topic to be too dark or morbid. The conversations can prevent future surprises, help with financial planning now, and foster harmony among your relatives.
2. Find the right time. Some people prefer to plan or schedule a time for the family to sit down and talk. However, during the holidays, it may be best to multitask the conversation. For instance, bring up the topic as part of the normal conversation while cooking or eating dessert.
3. Introduce the topic gently. Many people find it helpful to introduce the topic by using a story. This could be a change in your own life, such as a promotion or planned move; a discussion on how you created your own estate plan; or the death of a friend or celebrity. These stories can help you transition into the preparedness of your own family.
4. Consider your situation. Depending on your family dynamic, should you have one big discussion or a series of talks? Should you talk to your family as a group or talk individually with family members? For instance, a parent may want to discuss their estate plan with each adult child individually to reduce the potential for a hostile audience.
5. Focus on the joy. The conversation need not revolve around death. The concept could be that “you’ll have to do it eventually, why put it of” or “now that we have children, we should get wills drafted.”
Once you’ve had these discussions and enjoyed this special time of year, Morgan & Perry Law, P.L.L.C. would be happy to help you start the New Year on a strong note by helping you implement these plans. Until then, be sure to enjoy this time with your family and friends.
Morgan & Perry Law, P.L.L.C. wishes you a very happy Thanksgiving full of food and fellowship. Also, remember to support your local small businesses during Small Business Saturday!