While you may not find thinking about death to be an exciting part of your future, your decision to be proactive and organize your estate when it is not a stressful time can be one of the best choices you can make. Not only will you have peace of mind knowing that everything is prepared, but you can provide clarity and comfort for your loved ones.

One way to make your efforts more productive is to involve your family members. Do not give in to the false belief that describing your final wishes in documents will provide all of the information they need to know.

Why is communication important?

Establishing your estate plan and including details about your final wishes can provide support to your loved ones. However, it is not a guarantee that they will not end up squabbling over the meaning of something you wrote or disagreeing about certain decisions that were made. Your best bet at preventing tension is to have open family discussions where you describe your plans for the future.

Encourage your family members to be open with their feelings and suggestions. Approach your discussion by letting everyone know how important they are to you and describe their role in your future. This perspective can help everyone to feel included and important.

Setting realistic expectations

There may be times when you run into a situation where more than one person would like something of yours. In these circumstances, U.S. News suggests that you be realistic in who gets what. Encourage your family members, particularly your children and grandchildren, to tell you which of your things have sentimental value to them and which things they wish to inherit.

When you include your family members in the planning of your future and estate, you can help everyone to be prepared and you may feel more confident that no contention will occur after your death. For more information about planning an estate, visit our web page.