February 12, 2018
Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Despite the certainty of death, many put off estate planning. Even more put off discussing their estate plans with their family.
All too often, clients learn about their deceased parent’s relationship with another person only after receiving a copy of that parent’s will. Others find themselves embroiled in probate litigation trying to protect their deceased parents’ assets and business interests from step-parents or other family members. Unfortunately, deceased relatives don’t talk and can’t answer any questions.
While it is difficult to discuss death and dying, it is imperative that you have that difficult discussion to understand what your family members have planned at the time of their death. It’s not “if they die,” but “when they die.”
Here are some questions that may be helpful for children to start a discussion with their parents:
Similarly, it is important for parents to make their wishes known to their children. The following are helpful conversations starters for parents to discuss their estate plans with their children:
Once a conversation is started, families should try to resolve the following issues:
Open communication helps avoid confusion and ensures everyone is prepared for the future. In particular, a candid conversation can set expectations and defray future conflict regarding money and the distribution of family heirlooms and memorabilia.
Everyone has an estate plan, whether you’ve chosen yours or you allow the government’s plans to govern. Ensure your family is protected and armed with the tools and information needed to handle your estate or for you to handle your parent’s estate. Kierman Law, PLC can help. Call us at 480.719.7333 to schedule a consultation.