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How to Talk to a Loved One About Estate Planning

Estate planning rarely comes up in the course of regular conversation and if it does, it is usually involves what has happened to a celebrity’s fortune after his or her death.  The distance is safe, so the conversation can take place.

But what if you need to discuss estate planning with a loved one – either your own estate plan or the one they have (or should have)?  Because no one likes to talk about the death of someone close to them, we rarely have this critical conversation.  But we all should.

So how do you talk to a loved one about estate planning?  A Forbes.com article provides some good tips:

Pick the right time.  If it is too difficult to schedule a time for this conversation, have it when you’re doing something else, like taking a walk.

Start with a story.  Use a story as an opener to the conversation, like the death of a celebrity and the havoc that failure to plan is wreaking on his or her estate or how you created your own estate plan.

Talk separately.  It may be easier for parents with more than one child to have separate conversations with each child rather than talking to a group.

Use a team approach.  If you are having difficulty getting your spouse to focus on estate planning issues, communicate your concerns as a couple.  Talk about how aging means making mature decisions and how you need to protect children with estate planning.

Ask for feedback.  After discussing your estate plan with your children, ask them individually how they feel about what you have explained.  It may not change what you are doing, but it will let them feel they have a voice.

Explain why.  Explain to your children the principles that guided your decision about how your estate is being divided.  This lessens the chance of conflict among siblings.

This article is a service of Kundani & Chang LLP. We are an award-winning law firm that specializes in business and estate planning for clients like you. The goal for every family is to stay educated on all topics like this, avoid probate, avoid estate taxes, and build a legacy for you and your loved ones. What sets our firm apart is that we build lasting, lifelong relationships with our clients. They rely on us to keep them updated, provide sound legal counsel, and be there for them immediately if any problems should ever arise. The best part is we don’t charge hourly fees to our families, so you never have to worry about speaking to us. If you’re ready to keep your family out of Court, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or visit our website at www.CaliforniaEstateLawyers.com.

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