If you have made an estate plan, then you are ahead of many people. A recent survey showed that 58% percent of adults do not have one.
The next thing you should do is tell your family about it. If the idea is unappealing, think about why? If you are afraid it will cause problems, then you may be right.
You can only deal with estate planning issues while you are still alive
Problems do not go away of their own accord. If you do not resolve them now, they could plague your family after your death:
- Are you worried you will upset someone? Perhaps, for example, you worry your spouse and your other children will get upset when they discover you are leaving money to the child you had out of wedlock. If you discuss it now, you can explain why it is so important to look after your other child. If you never mention it, your spouse and kids may try to challenge your decision when you die.
- Are you worried someone will act differently toward you? Maybe you feel someone is being nice to you in the hope of getting an inheritance, and if you say you intend to leave them nothing, they will abandon you. If that is the case, then you may as well tell them your plans now and see if your suspicions are confirmed. If the person sticks by you, regardless, you benefit from learning that person loves you for who you are, not your money. If they don’t, then you will be glad you left them nothing.
Estate planning conversations can be challenging and should not be a one-off. Starting the discussion allows people to raise concerns. If the discussion leads you to change your mind, you can update your estate plan to fit.