The importance of discussing Estate Plans with our Family Members

One of the most difficult conversations to have with your family members is about their end-of-life wishes. No one wants to think about death, but unfortunately, there are two absolutes in life: Birth and Death. This is why discussing Estate plans with your family is essential.

How do you approach your family members to ensure they have an estate plan that satisfies their wishes?

Asking your family members directly if they have an estate plan is a great way to open the conversation. If direct approaches do not work, talk to the family member about your estate plan and what you put into place so your loved ones can have a clear understanding of what your wishes are after you pass away.  

An estate plan is not just about what to do with your assets or personal items once you die. A comprehensive estate plan will include a Power of Attorney delineating a trusted person to represent the family member.  Power of Attorney forms can be specific and limited to certain financial or health decisions or global ones. They include things like the power to sell property or make decisions for a person if they lack the capacity to make decisions on their own.  

Discussing Estate Plans with Family – Health Directive

A full estate plan will also include a health directive that will instruct medical professionals on how to proceed if you are facing a terminal illness – whether the family member wants to be left on life support or whether they should be resuscitated.  Whether they should have palliative care vs. treatment after a certain time period.  Also, a health directive will assist medical professionals in the event the family member is no longer able to participate in decisions concerning their medical care.  

While it is never easy to speak about death and end of life with our loved ones, it is an important conversation to have so we can honor our family members with their wishes when the time comes to say goodbye.

There are many other benefits to having a full estate plan.  If you or a family member is need of a Will or Trust, reach out to us. Our attorneys can assist with those difficult conversations.

*DISCLAIMER: The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice but should be construed for general informational purposes only.

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