Help with Family, Finances

and the Future

Whom should you speak with about your estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Many people think they should keep their estate plan a secret. They fear disclosing the details of it could cause people to behave differently, or give rise to gossip or provide business competitors with juicy details to feast on.

There is usually no need to share too much of the financial details of your will, but there are certainly reasons to share some details about your estate plan with certain individuals.

Share with people you pick for positions of responsibility

An effective estate plan requires you to nominate people for certain voluntary posts. One example is naming someone to act as your power of attorney. Another is naming a person to execute the will. Another still is naming someone to act as a guardian to your children should you die before they reach the age of majority.

All those positions require a lot of work. You cannot just surprise someone with this kind of responsibility, you need to ask their permission and get their consent, and you can only do that while you are still alive. Have these talks before you document the choice in your will, as any particular individual might prefer to avoid taking on such a role.

Explain choices that could cause a problem

One of the worst things that can happen is for a family to fall out over a deceased’s estate. Yet it happens all the time. If you are going to make any elections that could be controversial, take the time to explain why you are doing it to those it will affect. If you do that now, you’ll hopefully have years for them to understand your reasoning and ask you questions if needed.

Tell people where to start

Looking for a person’s estate plan should not be like a treasure hunt. Your family will have enough on their mind without that hassle. Tell one or a few people where they can find your relevant documents. They can then go straight to them when needed. That might even be as simple as giving them the details of the legal team you’ve used to make your estate plan.