Estate Planning Discussions During the Holidays

December 14, 2020

Getting family members together in one place is not always easy, so some discussions are avoided. There are certain topics that families need to talk about before it is too late, though. People do not always want to discuss estate planning matters because it can be upsetting, but it is one of the best ways to protect the surviving family members.

These talks can feel awkward and embarrassing, especially if the subject has never been broached before. Besides feeling upset, people do not like to talk about estate planning because they do not fully understand it.

Should I Talk About Estate Planning During the Holidays?

This can be an optimum time to discuss estate planning if it is done with care. Clearly communicating the need for estate planning and explaining the benefits of doing so is a good way to approach the subject. It is better for everyone to talk about it at a holiday gathering instead of when the family member is sick or has passed away because people can become very emotional. Additionally, the ill or deceased family member’s final wishes may not be properly carried out.

It is also important to assign a family member as a trustee, and to talk about finances for upcoming family events, like weddings. Younger children can be included in the talks as the information can teach them about financial literacy.

What is the Best Way to Approach Estate Planning Discussions?

Estate planning takes careful consideration, and family members will likely have a lot of questions. It makes sense to first speak with an experienced lawyer to get an idea of what is involved with planning wills and trusts. It is important to approach the subject carefully and respectfully. It should not be brought up in a way that catches people off guard. Instead, one can say that they want to talk together about the future, and explain the importance of having a financial plan in place.

The discussion can be started by parents or adult children, depending on the circumstances. There is no set age to start financial planning, and different people have various needs. Older parents may want to ensure that their grandchildren have a college fund and that some of the money gets donated to certain charities. Children may be concerned that there will not be available funds set aside for a mother’s long-term care.

All of the details do not need to be discussed during holiday celebrations, but the topic can be introduced. From there, people can take turns asking questions, and a timeline can be set to get the plan in place. For help with estate planning, a family should contact a lawyer about their concerns.

Media Estate Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Families with Estate Planning Matters During the Holiday Season

Now is the right time to start planning your estate to protect you and your family’s future needs. Our Media estate lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. help families with estate planning, and we will make sure your concerns are addressed. Contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 for a free consultation today. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.