Thinking about creating an estate plan may not be the cheeriest of topics, but it is one of the most important. And while you may not want to bog family members down with talk of estate planning during the holidays, the holidays are actually one of the best times to talk about estate planning. Here are some tips to discuss estate planning with loved ones during the holidays, as well as advice for what to include in your estate plan–
Tips for Discussing Estate Planning During the Holidays
The holidays are a wonderful time to talk about estate planning. For one thing, family is together — something that may not be possible or true during other times of the year — which makes having a conversation with the whole family much more feasible; you may not have an opportunity to have everyone all in one room again in the near future! Additionally, the holidays are a time when people reflect on the things they are grateful for, express love and appreciation for family, reminisce on the past, and express hope for the future and future generations. These sentiments can nicely frame a discussion around estate planning. As you plan for the conversation, here are some tips:
- Have a checklist ready with priority items that you want to discuss. Having a written list will help to keep the conversation on track and help to ensure you don’t miss anything.
- Remember to be honest, yet sensitive, about other family members’ feelings. Estate planning and thinking about death can be very challenging and emotional.
- Prepare family members for the conversation by letting them know in advance that you would like to have the conversation about estate planning; don’t surprise them by asking them to engage in the conversation without warning first. A few days’ notice can give each family member enough time to collect their thoughts.
- Let your family members know why you are engaging them in the process and that creating an estate plan will give you peace of mind and help to reduce conflict and tension around decision-making at a later date.
Things to Consider in Your Estate Plan
It’s important that your estate plan is as comprehensive as possible. As you plan for the discussion with your family members, be sure to talk about the following:
- Last will and testament;
- Medical preferences;
- Advanced directive/ living will; and
- Powers of attorney.
You might also want to have a conversation about who in the family may be available to manage your health care services in the event of a crisis, and where you might live if you reach a point where you are unable to live on your own.
Call An Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorney for Help
Creating an estate plan is an important part of planning for the future. Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Attorney at Law, is available to help you create an estate plan that protects your interests. To learn more about creating an estate plan and how our Massachusetts estate planning lawyer can help, please call our law firm directly today or send us a message online to request more information.