What should you tell your family about your estate plans?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2023 | Blog, Estate Planning

Talking about estate planning with your Pennsylvania family may involve difficult discussions about death and end-of-life plans. You may be reluctant to have those conversations with your loved ones, but they will benefit the most from having those tough conversations.

Prevent your estate planning from failing

If you do not discuss the plans you have for your estate, the plans may not work out as smoothly as you hope after you die. Your estate could get held up in probate court for months and your loved ones may spend thousands in court costs.

By having discussions with your family about estate planning, you can avoid the following common reasons estate plans get held up in court:

  • You can alert them to the location of your documents.
  • They can come to terms with the extent or lack of your wealth.
  • You can make your decisions about a beneficiary clear.

Documents and financial information

When you make plans for your estate you need to decide who will take over your finances and act as your power of attorney in case you become incapacitated. You also need to decide who will serve as the executor of your estate.

Both the executor and the person with powers of attorney must have access to these documents and account information:

  • Social security cards
  • Birth certificate
  • Account numbers and information
  • Lines of credit
  • Lines of debit
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce paperwork
  • Insurance policies

Beginning the conversation

While the conversation may require you to discuss emotional topics, you can take specific steps to reduce the painfulness of the discussion. Try to pick a positive neutral environment for the discussion and remain clear about your intentions. Also, try to emphasize the importance of the discussion for everyone in the family.

Talking about estate plans often makes family members uncomfortable. But having the conversation will benefit you and your loved ones, so you should start today.