How To Discuss Estate Planning With Your Heirs


Inheritance can be a difficult subject to talk about, from both sides of the table. Parents do not want to create ill will between their children or grandchildren and, on the other hand, the people that stand to inherit do not want to seem greedy or opportunistic.

Often, both sides will have hesitation approaching this very important topic; but addressing the issue will both eliminate confusion and put everyone on the same page.

Here are a few ways to talk about your estate with your heirs:

Decide what you will talk about

While it is probably best to share the entire plan with your heirs, this may depend on both your stages of life. Wait until your children are old enough to understand the impact of what you’re sharing.

It is appropriate to explain to an adolescent whom their legal guardian would be in the event of an accident, but it may not appropriate to delve into financials until they are a bit older.

Pick a good time

Unloading the details of your will may be too much information for one sitting. Depending on your family situation, a family dinner may or may not be the right time, particularly if there are any sensitive issues amongst heirs. There is no standard way to discuss a will; choosing the best time will depend on your family dynamics.

Allow for questions

Make sure your family feels comfortable asking questions about your decisions. Explaining the thought process that went into creating your plan will help them understand it better.

Ask for their reaction

Keeping an open, two-way dialogue shows your heirs that their feedback is important to you. This also gives you an even better opportunity to explain the plan.

Consider following these guidelines, as they can make the discussion easier on everyone involved. There are many complexities in estate planning, but talking to your friends or family does not have to be one of them.

Consult with Liu & Associates if you have any concerns about your estate or how it will be dispersed, we can offer a wide variety of sensible fiscal advice and guidance.