The holiday season has arrived, which often means we can look forward to giving and receiving gifts from loved ones. However, while getting that new pair of shoes you have been looking forward to or gifting a new bicycle is exciting, there is a more significant gift that you can give both to yourself and your loved ones this holiday season: An estate plan.
Why Create an Estate Plan Now?
While any time is a great time to create an estate plan, the holiday season in particular offers a great opportunity. It is during this time that we tend to gather many of our loved ones all under one roof – therefore making it easier to coordinate your desires to those who will be involved in your estate plan.
How Should You Have the Conversation About Estate Planning During the Holiday Celebrations?
While estate planning is likely not the first topic that comes up during many family conversations, the conversation is very important to have. This is a time during which you can openly communicate about several key topics, including:
- Powers of Attorney
- Health care proxy
- Living Wills
Outside of the holiday season, while possible to sit down and discuss with all who are involved, you may find it more difficult to arrange meeting time with everyone.
How Can You Structure Your Estate Planning Conversation?
Talking about estate planning is no simple conversation. However, while there are many components to cover, this does not mean the conversation has to be difficult. By breaking topics down by category, you can make the conversation easier to have.
The following includes various categories to discuss, in addition to what you should have in mind when talking about them:
Who Has What Role
It is essential to cover who exactly will be doing what role. You should outline who you will select to handle your medical needs should you become unable to do so, who will receive what assets upon your death and who will care for any minors currently in your care should you pass away.
It is important to discuss your assets, mainly what exactly you have. You will want to ensure that all of your assets are properly distributed following your death. By not creating a will, distribution of your assets will be left up to the court system – which can lead to ugly family disputes.
There are numerous estate and inheritance taxes that you will want to discuss with your loved ones.
Make sure to discuss any life insurance plans that you have with your loved ones so they gain a clear understanding of the policies.
While the intent behind the estate planning discussion is not to scare anyone in your family, it is a critical discussion to have. As mentioned above, if you do not create an estate plan, the court system will have to get involved in the distribution of your assets and/or the care of any minors or pets that you currently care for upon your death.
Regardless of age, it is always a great idea to create an estate plan. Quite simply, none of us know at what time we will pass away. Even if you are still young and in good health, creating an estate plan can help protect your legacy should a tragic event occur resulting in your death.
Fortunately, you do not need to stress about making an estate plan on your own. For assistance creating your estate plan, contact us today.
For more resources about estate planning and elder law topics, see our previous articles, guides, webinars and newsletters.