Many people prefer not to talk with their children about their estate plans. Maybe they have always preferred to keep their financial details private from their kids. Or perhaps they prefer to avoid conversations that could become difficult.
Yet generally, it makes sense to talk to your family about your estate plan. You do not need to go into intricate detail, but failing to mention it at all can have serious consequences later.
Your family needs to know what you want if you fall ill
After a lovely family lunch, you get in the car to drive home. Only you never make it. A car hits you, and you end up in intensive care. What now? What if no one in your family knows to who you have given medical power of attorney? Or that you created a health care directive? It will make it harder for them to guide the doctors on the type of treatment you would want.
Your family needs to be able to act in your absence
The doctor hopes you will come out of the coma in the next few weeks. Yet your mortgage payment is due tomorrow. If you are the only one with access to the bank, covering that will be difficult. If you put a power of attorney in place, one of your children can complete any essential transactions in your absence.
It helps you give people what they want
If you know both your sons want your old Norton motorcycle, you can have them flip a coin or work out another way to decide that now. It reduces the chance of fights or people feeling burdened after inheriting things they do not want.
If you want to consider your estate planning options before talking to your family. Or if you need to adjust it, having discovered new details when discussing it with them, there is advice available.