The holidays are an absolutely ideal time to call a family meeting to discuss your wishes regarding your estate plan!
Every year, the holiday season seems to creep up on us, seemingly out of nowhere. Before we know it, we’re finishing up Thanksgiving leftovers and starting to decorate for the holidays to come.
In all the chaos of the holiday season, it is very easy to forget about important conversations that should be had with your family members, such as conversations about estate planning.
Many people may think that the holidays are an inappropriate time to start the conversation about estate planning with their families. After all, aren’t the holidays supposed to be about having fun with your family, being merry and bright?
Conversations about estate planning are just as important as having fun with your family. Christopher Burgess, in his blog entitled “Holidays, the Best Time to Discuss Important Family Estate Plans?” in The Huffington Post, observes that the “holidays can provide the ideal opportunity to begin this discussion if you’ve not yet started, or build on any agreements you’ve made with them and/or provisions you have put in place to ensure their health, safety, and happiness.”
It is rare to have such ideal circumstances to talk about estate planning as the holiday season. When else are all your family members going to be in the same place, with abundant free time? If your parents are coming close to retirement age, it is important that you are listening to their needs and making sure that they have a proper plan in place for when they do start to retire. It is also easy to overlook potential warning signs from our parents in terms of their aging, but the holidays are a good time to make sure you are observing and making yourself aware of their needs.
Burgess points out that “estate planning is about life’s transitions as well, not only one’s demise.” With that mentality, starting a conversation about estate planning does not have to be so daunting or morbid. Rather, it can be a simple conversation about the future of your family and the next steps that need to be taken to protect it. When approaching a conversation about estate planning, think of it more as a “family meeting,” where the future of the family and their needs will be discussed. Take advantage of the opportunities that are presented by your family being all together.
At Hatley Law Group, A P.C., we wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. As you may have conversations around estate planning with your families this holiday season, please contact us if we can be of contribution. We would be honored to assist.