Matters Of Death & Incapacitation Are Hardly Lively Topics For The Thanksgiving Dinner Table
Yet, while it can be uncomfortable to talk about estate planning matters with family, it does affect everyone. Open, honest discussions can truly help and are an important element of getting things in order.
No one recommends this discussion happen at the holiday table where family and relatives reconnect in Arizona. However, it can be the time to find time on the calendar when everyone is home to visit about it.
Here Are Four Tension-Free Conversation Starters:
1. Find a current event that touches on the delicate nature of good (or poor) estate planning such as the death of a celebrity or a news item. One may reference how it could be helpful to your own family to discuss these matters before a potential problem can occur.
2. Be an example. If you have recently completed or updated your estate plan, you might share the accomplishment and experience and suggest a time to chat about how it will help you and could help others if they take it on.
3. If death is a taboo topic in your family, some people find the discussion of incapacity a good entry point for discussion. Even adults as young as age 18 should have some documents in place giving a trusted adult legal authority to make medical decisions and handle business should they become unable to do so themselves.
4. Good estate planning documents are not just for the aging. Young families with children must make decisions (though difficult ones) about who will raise their children if something should happen to both parents. Without these documents, a judge will appoint someone without knowing the wishes of the parents. Helping young folks think about these matters while together for the holidays can be a gift.
Making these plans and having these discussions are a part of living and a part of preparing for the end of life. We all want what is best for our families and would always choose to avoid unnecessary complications and expenses in Arizona—two consequences often experienced when no plans are in place.
If your family has never had this discussion, be the brave one and gather the courage to start the conversation before any problems can occur.