If you have already made your estate plan, then congratulations. Many people never get that far. Yet the hard work is not quite over.
Informing your family about some of the decisions you have taken in your estate plan is typically a sensible idea. Since you cannot predict when you will die, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
Discussing your plan can help your family prepare
Your family probably knows that they will inherit something from your estate when you die. Whether you go into details of exactly who will inherit what is up to you, but at the very least, you should talk to them about some of the more general concepts so that they have some idea of what to expect.
Let them know who will take charge
A well-made estate plan must allocate several roles. You can allocate these to family, friends or even a paid professional. They could all be given to one person or split between several people. These roles include a health care power of attorney, a legal power of attorney and an executor of the estate. If you have minor children, you should also nominate a guardian for them.
The sooner people can step into these roles when needed, the better, so letting people know who will fulfill what role and where to find any documents they will require can speed things up for everyone.
Consider explaining contentious decisions
Explaining why you decided to give someone a specific asset or amount of money, especially where the split is unequal, can help prevent confusion, suspicion and disagreements between those you leave behind.
There is help available if you need to learn more about estate planning to prepare your family for your ill health or death and make things as simple as possible when it occurs.