Your estate plan is your business. From your choice of who you want to serve as your power of attorney in the event of a debilitating accident to how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your death, the details of your estate plan are yours to determine.
With that said, your estate plan is also, in many ways, your family’s business too, insofar as they are the ones who will be most affected by your decision-making. As a result, it is generally a good idea to speak with your loved ones about your estate planning intentions proactively.
If you don’t make this effort, your loved ones may make assumptions about your intentions – and their rights to your assets – and react with great drama if they don’t receive what they believe that they should. They could even go so far as to challenge your wishes – and your capacity to make them – in court once you’re gone.
Following through with your estate plans
By proactively speaking with your loved ones about your estate planning preferences and requirements, you can both better ensure that your wishes will be honored and that the risk of disputes arising in the wake of your death is mitigated. Although having this conversation can be a stressful undertaking, it is important for both your own interests and the interests of your loved ones that you do.
With that said, if you feel that it could be beneficial to have this conversation with a lawyer present, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance. Depending on the nature of your family dynamic and the value of your assets, making sure that your wishes are understood in a crystal clear fashion may be critically important when attempting to ensure that they are ultimately honored to the letter.