Tips on how to talk to loved ones about estate planning

California estate planning can be a difficult topic to contemplate, let alone discuss with loved ones. Many think that looping beloved family members into the conversation about estate planning can further family transparency and leave everyone feeling better. But, sometimes, communications do not go as planned. When this happens, arguments can ensue and feelings can be hurt. In short, bad communication may throw estate planning off the tracks.

That being said, there are certain steps to help ease into a discussion about estate planning in a way that avoids confrontation. To start, it may help to gradually shift family discussion to include estate planning issues. Bringing this topic up seemingly out of nowhere can be a shock to family member, causing them to react to it rather than approaching it with thoughtful consideration.

Another step to effectively discuss estate planning is to create a safe place. Here, create ground rules that seek to ensure that all parties to the conversation are heard and respected. This encourages open and honest discussion that can help head off any potential conflicts that may arise down the road.

Lastly, it is important to consider how potential heirs and beneficiaries, as well as other individuals who are not included in an estate plan, communicate. Communication assessments can help with this determination, and may allow communication with individuals in a way that suits them best. Again, doing so will better ensure that conversations are effective and productive.

While merely talking about estate planning can be a challenge, actually engaging in the planning process can be just as difficult, if not more so. For this reason, creating an estate plan that is right someone and their loved ones is best done with the assistance from a skilled legal professional.

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