Why You Should Discuss Your Estate Plan With Family

Estate planning is an important process, it not only addresses the distribution of your property upon your passing, but the management of property and incapacity planning for later years. There have been clients who have chosen to complete this process without discussing their plans with family members, but in most cases, we disagree with this decision. Here’s why…

Executors and Guardians

Many times, family members are chosen as an executor to an estate or as guardians for minor children. It’s important to discuss these appointments with your choices prior to naming them within your will. Both executor duties and guardianships are huge responsibilities, and it’s best to ensure your choices are willing to take on these challenges.

Family Impact

Since your family is significantly impacted by these plans, it’s best to discuss them so they know what to expect in advance. Not explaining your choices prior to your passing can not only lead to hurt feelings and anger, but does not allow for your family members to plan for possibilities that may come up as a result.

Reducing Chances for Disagreements Later

An open dialogue will reduce the chances a family member could contest your will later. When beneficiaries understand your decisions and know the true intent of your estate planning documents, the chance of a will contest is reduced.

Making the Plan Known

If a will or other estate planning documents cannot be located, they cannot be presented to be used after your passing. It’s important that family members know that these documents exist and how to locate them.

Estate planning is a sensitive topic, but in order to ensure that your family’s needs and goals are met, it’s important to discuss plans with family members.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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