Over half of all Americans have yet to create a thorough estate plan despite knowing how important one is. If you have taken the time to create one, you are to be commended; however, you still have one important step left to take – discussing the plan with your loved ones.
One reason that people often procrastinate when it comes to estate planning is that they don’t want to think about the subject matter. People often use essentially the same reasoning for failing to discuss the plan, once made, with their loved ones. While this may be understandable, it can create problems for your loved ones down the road.
Your estate plan works best when people involved know what to expect. Imagine, for example, that you are involved in a tragic motor vehicle crash next week. Decisions regarding your medical treatment as well as your financial affairs must be made. While you included incapacity planning in your estate plan, no one knows that but you. As a result, a battle erupts within your family regarding who will make those decisions. Precious time goes by before anyone realizes that you have already made those decisions yourself. By then, a potentially irreparable rift has been created among your loved ones.
The moral of the story is that while it may be difficult to sit down with your loved ones and discuss your estate plan, it is usually the right thing to do. There is no requirement that you share all the details if you have reason not to, but at least a basic overview may save a considerable amount of conflict and confusions down the road.
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