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Should you discuss your will with your heirs?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Creating a will is very important. By setting aside time and resources to create a will, you are taking proactive steps to safeguard your legacy and loved ones’ future. Without a will, California intestacy laws would swing into action to determine what should happen to your estate upon your death. And you might not like this. 

Once you’ve created your will, the decision to discuss its provisions with your designated beneficiaries is entirely yours to make. You are not required by any law to do this. That said, however, here are two important reasons why you should consider talking about your will with your dependents. 

An opportunity to explain your motivations

Most probate disputes revolve around beneficiaries battling over who ought to inherit what. Situations like leaving significant assets for one child, distributing assets equally when your heirs’ financial situations vary greatly or giving out a portion of your estate to charity are likely to cause conflicts. Explaining why you have distributed your assets in a particular manner can help clarify things and get everyone on the same page. 

An opportunity to understand your heirs’ needs and feelings

Once you get this discussion going, you will have a clearer understanding of what your heirs actually feel about your decision. Most importantly, you will get to know their needs and wants. For instance, you may be operating under the impression that your son who is a medical doctor would be disappointed if you didn’t make him your healthcare proxy. But as you speak to him, you learn that he’s seen a number of families in a similar situation and is concerned about his ability to make difficult decisions if they are in a similar situation.

Not many discussions are as emotional as talking about your own demise and the implications thereof. Specifically, opting to talk about your will might be unsettling, but it’s certainly better than leaving your loved ones in the dark. 

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