New York Attorney Recommends Helping your Family Understand your Estate Plan via Family Meetings
You have family meetings to discuss important issues in the family, but have you had one about your estate plan or what happens to finances after you die? If you are like most consumers, you probably have not. No one wants to sit down with their loved ones and discuss mortality – or even suggest that there is a risk that your loved ones may be on his or her own someday.
Regardless of how hard it might seem, it is in your and your family’s best interest to discuss your wishes, as well as what you intend to put in your estate plan.
Have Your Attorney There
Have your estate planning attorney attend your family meeting. Here, he or she can answer questions that loved ones may have, discuss any legal issues, and even take notes about what is discussed to ensure that your estate plan is in line with what is discussed. It is helpful that family members meet your attorney, especially if he or she will work as your executor, too.
Pick a Convenient Time
Do not make this initial meeting an inconvenience. Instead, pick a date and time that works for everyone’s schedule. Then, select a meeting place that is centralized, so that no one should have to drive too far for the meeting.
Make a List
You need a list of every item that you want to cover during the meeting. This can include your burial/funeral wishes, inheritances, property, etc. You do not need to discuss specific finances, including values of the assets. Instead, you are discussing which heir receives what, rather than talking about how much in value he or she is inheriting. These meetings should only be for adults. If there are small children, see if you can arrange child care.
Expect Anxiety and Disagreements
Family members may be anxious about the meeting. Some may disagree with your choices, but you can hold your ground. You should, however, listen to their concerns and make sure that they are not bringing up any valid points that will make you reconsider beneficiary designations. If there is a dependent whom you do not feel is mature enough to receive an inheritance, now is the time to explain this to him or her.
The more upfront and honest that you are with loved ones now, the less confusion and contests that you are likely to encounter later on. If you plan to give part of your estate (or all) to charity, discuss this with family. That way, everyone knows which charity you want your estate gifted to and why, and witnesses are present for that decision.
Meet with a Long Island, NY Estate Planning Lawyer Today
If you are ready to start your estate plan, meet with an estate planning attorney in Long Island, New York. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can assist you. Schedule your free consultation now at 516-605-0625 or contact us online and someone will be in touch with you shortly.